Former Desoto school board member pleads out - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Former Desoto school board member pleads out

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SHREVEPORT, La., (KNOE 8 News) - United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says that former DeSoto Parish School Board member Bartholomew Claiborne, 25, of Mansfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to distributing cocaine.

Claiborne was indicted on Sept. 4, 2012, for distributing cocaine. According to the indictment, Claiborne was recorded to have distributed cocaine on 14 separate occasions between Oct. 11, 2011 and July 12, 2012. Authorities used surveillance methods to observe Claiborne selling cocaine.

Claiborne faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $1 million or both with three years of supervised release on the count. Sentencing has been set for May 21, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.

"As an elected official, Bartholomew Claiborne swore to uphold the law, and by his own admission, failed to do so," Finley stated. "He also failed the children and parents of his school board district where he served as a role model. We hope this case sends a message that public officials are not above the law. We will continue to prosecute those who violate federal laws.

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