SHREVEPORT — Former Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen made his first appearance in federal court since being indicted last month on theft and conspiracy charges.
The Times reports Deen’s attorney, Marty Stroud, entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client Thursday to the charges of conspiracy to commit federal program theft and federal program theft.
Magistrate Judge Mark L. Hornsby said he would allow Deen to remain free on an unsecured bond but with conditions. The 61-year-old Deen, through Stroud, surrendered his passport, since Hornsby said the former law enforcement officer cannot travel internationally.
Additionally, Hornsby said Deen cannot have contact with any witnesses unless his attorney is present.
Hornsby then called up Deen’s co-defendants, Clifton D. Blakey, 35, of Benton, and Clinton E. Blakey, 40, of Shreveport. They are charged with the same offenses as Deen but also have an additional count of failure to file IRS Tax Form 8300.
Standing separately with their attorneys – Clifton Blakey and Clinton Blakey – each pleaded not guilty. They also are allowed to remain free on unsecured bonds with the same restrictions that were placed on Deen.
Clifton Blakey did not bring his passport so Hornsby told him to surrender it within 24 hours, but Clinton Blakey handed his over.
The indictments handed up by the federal grand jury on Sept. 24 accuse Deen, Clinton Blakey and Clifton Blakey of an alleged scheme to undervalue a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban the former sheriff drove in his official capacity, convert it to private ownership and conceal the transaction.
The indictments state Deen, who served as sheriff from 1988 through June 30, 2012, authorized the trade-in of his SUV to Blakey Auto Plex in May 2012 along with other Bossier Parish sheriff’s vehicles. It was valued at $21,375, which was less than the Blue Book listing, then leased back to the sheriff’s office with no payments made.
In July 2012, Deen paid $21,000 to Blakey Auto Plex for the SUV. It was returned to the dealership Oct. 11, 2012 then purchased by another individual days later for $31,000, according to the indictment.