Winnfield PD Chief Sentenced - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Winnfield PD Chief Sentenced

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United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that Johnnie Ray Carpenter, the Chief of Police of Winnfield, La., was sentenced today to six months in federal prison, a $4,000 fine, and one year of supervised release for obstructing a Deputy United States Marshal as he attempted to serve a federal arrest warrant. The sentenced was handed down by United States Magistrate Judge James D. Kirk.

Carpenter was convicted at trial on April 21, 2011. Trial testimony showed that on
August 27, 2009, officers and agents of the U. S. Marshal Service Fugitive Task Force, the FBI
Violent Gang Task Force, and Winn Parish Sheriff's Office traveled to Winnfield to make the
arrest of a woman wanted on a federal arrest warrant for bank fraud out of the Western
District of Washington. The woman was also the subject of an investigation by the Seattle
Police Department for two homicides and two shootings, and she was affiliated with a
violent gang in Seattle. FBI Task Force agents from Seattle traveled to Winnfield to assist the

The officers converged on the subject's apartment and knocked on the door. The
subject answered the door and was arrested. Thereafter, a large crowd began to gather
outside. Several males shouted to "get the chief."

A male later identified as Carpenter emerged from the crowd and demanded to know
"why are these folks being arrested." He never identified himself, nor did he have any
badge or markings of any type on his person. He yelled for the crowd to follow him, and the
crowd pushed forward around the arrest team.

U. S. Deputy Marshal Belgard approached Carpenter and advised him that the
investigation was still in progress and that he was now inciting the crowd. Belgard ordered
Carpenter to get on the sidewalk away from the officers and the arrestees. Belgard repeated
his command to Carpenter at least 10 times, but Carpenter refused, and he continued to yell
over Belgard's commands. The deputy then advised Carpenter that he was obstructing a
federal investigation, and if he continued, he would be removed and possibly arrested.

Carpenter disregarded Belgard's orders and continued to attempt to prevent the
arrest. Later on that same day, Carpenter showed up at the police station and got into a
shouting match with the deputy about the arrest and activities related to their earlier

United States Attorney Finley stated, "Law enforcement have tough jobs. Everyday,
they put their lives on the line trying to protect the community. This defendant knew that;
yet, he interfered with the arresting officers, without justification and without regard to the
fact that he was putting the officers' lives at risk. This sentence should send a message that
this type of interference is serious and will be punished."
This case was investigated by the United States Marshal Service and was prosecuted
by Assistant U. S. Attorney James G. Cowles, Jr.

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