Reaction: Louisiana State Trooper Arrested - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Reaction: Louisiana State Trooper Arrested

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Colonel Michael Edmonson held up the badge of State Police Sergeant Ronald Thomas. 48-year-old Thomas is now in jail facing payroll fraud and drug charges.

Edmonson is hoping the public doesn't start suspecting complete corruption after this incident.

"When you tarnish that badge, you take away the trust of society," Edmonson said.

The arrest came Monday, after months of an investigation. Thomas served as the evidence custodian  for Northern Louisiana Investigative Operations. His former boss says that's a post the suspect will never have again.

"He has certainly been suspended at this time," Edmonson said. "All of his possessions have been taken from him at this time, he will not wear this uniform again, he will not wear that badge again."

State police say with that drug money, Thomas bought ATVs, a truck, a SUV, and even a fancy boat and they ceased all of the vehicles from his home, according to troopers.

The vehicles carry a $250,000 price tag. Troopers also took $50,000 in cash and a stolen weapon from Thomas' Monroe home and police say he didn't act alone.

Police say 38-year-old Leonard Dunn is a relative of Thomas. Troopers say Dunn was told to cover up their tracks by destroying evidence and getting rid of the cash. Dunn is also facing drug charges.

District Attorney Jerry Jones says this case is going in front of a grand jury and more charges for both men may be on the way.

UPDATE 6:00 P.M.

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Louisiana State Trooper is facing charges after a year long investigation. The officer was based out of Monroe.

Community members are shocked to hear former Louisiana State Trooper, Ronald Thomas, is facing charges. Thomas' neighbor, Ariel Baxter, says "I would never think that a police officer would distribute drugs. He was suppose to set an example for kids."

Baxter's sister lives just five houses down from Thomas. She says, "we had woke up early in the morning, and saw two police officers sitting in that guy's yard. I was wondering what was going on."

As the day went on the more officers arrived. That's because 43 year old Thomas was arrested on numerous charges. Gale Ward is also a neighbor of Thomas, she says "I was just wondering like why? Police are suppose to be somebody to protect, not to serve the illegal items. I was like that's kind of crazy."

We went to Thomas' house to talk with his family, but nobody answered. Baxter says, "it was just a whole bunch of commotion. We saw K9's, and we didn't know what was going on."

A co-defendant in the case confirmed to the Louisiana State Police that he and Thomas were selling large quantities of cocaine in Ouachita Parish. The "co-defendant" also claimed Thomas told him about the investigation. Thomas also told the "co-defendant" to destroy any evidence, including money.

Now neighbors are trying to figure out just who they can trust. Baxter says, "that is wrong. Especially if you have kids in this neighborhood they look up to you, they think they're safe."

Thomas is facing public payroll fraud, conspiracy to distribute and distribution of cocaine, malfeasance in office, and obstruction of justice. Thomas was booked into OCC.

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