In U.S District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo’s small courtroom, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Chad Scott stares straight ahead, only occasionally speaking to his legal team. He appears cool under pressure, his looks and demeanor seemingly ideal for the lawman’s job he once held.
One by one, jurors are excused for their various opinions and biases regarding drug laws, family law enforcement connections, and their reading material, including The New Orleans Advocate, which has covered this story more extensively than any other source. Thus the trial attorneys, defense and prosecution, and Judge Jane Triche Milazzo approached their final jury selection. Having seated the jury and two alternates by early afternoon, opening statements and oral arguments commenced.
The “White Devil,” as he referred to himself with drug dealers in the past, former New Orleans Deputy turned DEA agent, and leader of the local drug task force, Chad Scott isn’t currently involved in putting anyone behind bars, except, possibly, himself.
Scott is no stranger to controversy. Some of the largest southern busts can be traced back to Scott and his team, and he’s been well-respected in the law enforcement community. But in other less reputable circles, the “White Devil” has made a name for himself for playing fast and loose with the rules, to the point that while he’s had many accolades bestowed upon him, he’s had several disciplinary actions as well. Along with that, he’s been accused by Rap-A-Lot Records founder and CEO James Prince of attempting to have him murdered.
Now, he sits before the Eastern Federal District Court in New Orleans, Louisiana with 14 counts of various crimes, including falsifying records, obstruction of justice, and perjury. While this is his first trial, it won’t be his last. Seven counts make up his first trial, but a second trial is scheduled for October along with co-defendant Rodney Gemar, himself a former DEA Task Force member.
His team is led by former prosecutor-turned-defense attorney Matthew Coman. As a highly successful prosecutor, Coman was instrumental in the conviction of former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin on 20 counts including wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, bribery, and tax violations. Federal prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice are Charles Miracle and Timothy Duree.
Depending on which side is speaking, there are seemingly two very different sides to Chad Scott. One is the prosecution’s two-faced DEA Agent who conspired to acquire a Ford F150 from drug dealer Frederick Brown, falsifying various documents, committing perjury, and falsely helping to prosecute innocent people.
As Duree put it, “Ladies and gentlemen when federal law enforcement officers take their job, they take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and to protect the law. They are entrusted with a lot of responsibility. They are provided with a badge and a gun, to carry out this responsibility, too. In the course of this trial, you’re going to learn the defendant took this power, trust, and corrupted it for his own ends.”
But if the defense is to be believed, Chad Scott is a hero who put numerous felons behind bars, and those testifying against him are convicted criminals (some former law enforcement officers, themselves) only doing so to get their sentences reduced.
Referring to the convicts appearing for the prosecution to help convict Scott, including Karl Newman, Edwin Martinez, and (Frederick) Brown drug trafficker, several of whom had life sentences, Coman says, “Those three individuals will come through that door right there. That’s where the Marshal will bring them. They’re in prison right now. And they are facing-or faced, as I should say, I correct myself-they faced life imprisonment, death sentences unless they gave the government, this government now, from Washington DC, what they wanted to hear. Those aren’t my words. Those are not my guestimation. You will hear it from Karl Newman’s own voice when he tells his wife, ‘I’m just going to tell them what they want to hear, whether it’s true or not.’ That’s their witness. That’s their witnesses.”
Coman continued, “On the other side of the ledger, you have Chad Scott, who’s been a DEA agent for 20 years now…he’s been a lawman his entire career. He’s also from Louisiana, grew up in the Baton Rouge area.” Crediting him with helping to put away many drug dealers he added, “And you will hear that in Operation Brown Recluse, started in 2014, that’s the investigation…that involved numerous drug dealers, both in Houston, Hammond, Atlanta, Baltimore, all over the entire country.” Later he said, “This was the work that agent Scott put together, in consultation in constant work…in New Orleans. And these are the drug dealers and assets and the killers that were taken off the streets, because of his hard work in this operation.”
As the trial continues, it will be up to the jury in deliberation to decide which is the real Chad Scott and what his fate may be.
Michael David Raso has worked as a writer, editor, and journalist for several different publications since graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. If you like this piece, you can read more of his work here.