Lafayette District Attorney Don Landry Confirms FBI Investigation, Cooperating With Authorities After Raid
Lafayette District Attorney Don Landry confirmed reports of an FBI raid late Monday evening at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse.
Documents were seized from the district attorney's office and transported to FBI vehicles located outside of the building.
In a statement put out Tuesday afternoon, Landry confirmed that the federal investigation that involved the FBI agents at his office for hours is connected to his pretrial diversion program.
Since taking office in January of 2021, we have put significant effort into improving our Pretrial Intervention Program, and the numbers of enrollees in that program has increased. That has allowed our Pretrial Intervention Program to help more people than in prior years. This program is for non-violent offenders who typically have not committed a prior crime, and is designed to be an opportunity to pay restitution, undergo counseling to change behaviors, and to become contributing members of our community. That is a good thing.
All the questions I was asked by federal investigators yesterday surrounded the Pretrial Intervention Program. I told investigators we will share with them any information they need and my office will cooperate with whatever is asked of us. My office will continue to be transparent with federal investigators and the public through this process.
In addition, I intend to retain auditors to ensure that all of our procedures and safeguards were complied with. We take these steps to ensure the public trust is maintained and that our office conducts itself with the highest integrity.
We are continuing to operate our Pretrial Intervention Program under the duties imposed by Louisiana law. Please understand that I have many hardworking, talented people working in our District Attorney's Office, and we will continue to do everything in our power to continue to keep our community safe and free from crime.
According to a report from KLFY, the Lafayette district attorney's office was raided by the FBI 10 years ago under the watch of former DA Mike Harson.
That investigation involved a private investigator bribing officials to fast-forward cases through the judicial system. Harson’s secretary, Barna Haynes — also the wife of then-Lafayette City Prosecutor Gary Haynes — was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for her involvement. Former Asst. DA Greg Williams was sentenced to two years of probation and six months of house arrest for his involvement.
That report also states that Landry worked for Harson when he was district attorney but outside of his statement, there are no details on his involvement in the current federal investigation.
Federal agents are at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse executing a search warrant. That’s according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
That raid began around 5 p.m.
According to a witness that spoke with KPEL, an agent told him to back away from the courthouse. However, the official did not identify what agency he represents.
Another witness saw agents bringing in boxes of Domino’s Pizza and cases of water into the courthouse.
We have not been able to confirm who or what the authorities are investigating. We have called officials at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse, but they have not answered our calls.
We spoke with representatives from the FBI and the Department of Justice. They said per DOJ policy, they could neither confirm nor deny any information.
Several community activists are apparently keeping vigil outside of the courthouse. They've been posting pictures from the scene over the last few hours.
This is a developing story.