A former patrol lieutenant for the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office has been charged with malfeasance in office and criminal conspiracy after detectives discovered that he had been involved in illegal drug activity in the parish.

Basil Trepagnier, 35, of LaPlace was arrested Wednesday, March 23, 2022 for malfeasance in office and criminal conspiracy. He turned himself in to the St. John Sheriff’s Office and was later released on a $15,000 bond. Trepagnier, who had been with the SJSO for 10 years, was terminated last week.

On Thursday, March 17, 2022, detectives with the St John Parish Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division executed a court authorized narcotics search and seizure warrant for Dawn Stipe’s residence in Reserve in reference to an ongoing narcotics investigation. Detectives with SOD, along with officers with Homeland Security had intercepted a package containing illegal narcotics sent from Bulgaria to Stipe’s Emma Drive address.

Detectives located in Stipe’s home a large plastic bag containing 13 Doxycycline pills, 123 Betamethasone pills, 192 Prednisone pills, 136 Promethazine pills, 356 Paracofdal (Codein) pills, 39 Lorazepam pills, 58 Rivotril (Klonopin) pills, 72 Zolpidem pills, 210 Xanax pills, 25 Valium pills, 20 Diazepam pills and 21 Zopiclone pills.

Stipe was arrested and faces several illegal drugs charges.

During the course of the investigation, detectives discovered that on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, while on duty, Trepagnier was observed at Stipe’s residence for about two hours. This led detectives to further investigate his activity. Through further investigation and statements made by Stipe, officers discovered that Trepagnier was at Stipe’s residence to obtain illegal narcotics, specifically Valium. Further investigation also revealed that Trepagnier knew of Stipe’s illegal drug operation and allowed her to obtain, possess, and distribute illegal narcotics and also had arranged to receive narcotics from her.

“The actions of this former lieutenant are such a disappointment,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said. “As sheriff, it is my responsibility to ensure our officers maintain the highest possible level of professionalism and are held to the highest standards. Misconduct by officers will not be tolerated, and the St. John Sheriff’s Office will always hold its employees accountable anytime wrongdoing is discovered.”

Further details are not available at this time due to the case still being investigated.