By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
The DARE Dildo Debacle: Crime Commission President Calls For 'A Hard Look' At Backpack Full of Dongs
A Louisiana DARE unit that was pulled over in New Orleans last March carried not only marijuana, but sex toys and performance enhancing pills.
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education sport utility vehicle was at the center of a controversy earlier this year after it was pulled over and New Orleans police discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside on March 8, reports WDSU.
The report noted that the DARE vehicle was being driven on Lundi Gras night and into Mardi Gras morning by Kentrell Smith, a 27-year-old DARE contract worker who was not authorized to operate it. The SUV, emblazoned with a huge DARE logo, was actually assigned to full-time Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office DARE Deputy Bud Cason.
Cason resigned less than 24 hours after a news report on Smith's arrest, reports Action News 17. Smith was alone in the vehicle when arrested, but Cason was contacted and arrived at the scene moments later.
Cason told officers in the initial police report that he and Smith had traveled together to New Orleans and he had allowed Smith to drive the DARE vehicle to a store.
Cason was not charged after an internal investigation in Tangipahoa Parish, but he resigned his post as deputy. He released an apologetic letter to the press on March 19.
Now a supplemental police report -- filed two weeks after the incident -- has been discovered which indicates more items were found inside the DARE vehicle: a backpack containing sex toys and stimulants.
The Metropolitan Crime Commission is now calling for a new investigation, citing "concerns" about the nature of the backpack's contents and the role of the DARE unit at schools.
"(Is is) very inappropriate for sex toys to be in a DARE vehicle that goes on school campuses and may be used to transport children around," Metropolitan Crime Commission Vice President Tony Radosti said.
According to the supplemental New Orleans Police Department report, the backpack also contained a business card with Bud Cason's name on it and a description of his work as a DARE officer. Mail addressed to Cason's wife was also recovered from the backpack.
?Cason "claimed this bag as his until the contents of the bag were discovered," according to the report, at which time he denied owning it. The dildo-filled backpack, along with the DARE vehicle, was turned over to a lieutenant in the Tangipahoa Sheriff's Office, according to the NOPD report.
"The (Tangipahoa) department should have taken a very hard look at what's going on," Radosti said, evidently not intending any pun but being hilarious nonetheless.
A memo obtained by the WDSU I-Team shows Sheriff Daniel Edwards sustained the internal affairs complaint, which focused on the improper use of a department vehicle. It was dated March 18, 10 days after the incident.
The same memo makes reference to a claim by Cason that was included in his resignation email dated March 8. The claim was that Cason, who has reportedly been battling a terminal illness for several years, "did recognize that Kentrell was battling a sex addiction."
But the supplemental report noting the discovery of the adult-oriented items inside the DARE vehicle wasn't filed until March 24, and the big plastic vibrating cocks weren't part of any further investigation.
"Apparently, Bud knew the gentleman had a sex addiction problem," Radosti said. "That is beyond what I consider sound, good judgment."
The Metropolitan Crime Commission now wants a new investigation of the Dildo Debacle by either the sheriff's office, the district attorney or the Louisiana attorney general.
"Children are involved here," Radosti said, working up a fine froth of indignation. "Every precaution that needs to be taken should be taken."
Sheriff Edwards said he received notification in June that the Metropolitan Crime Commission was calling for "additional investigation," but said that Cason is no longer an employee and, therefore, not subject to any further "internal probes," an interesting choice of words given the sack full of dongs.
Additionally, Sheriff Edwards pointed out, Tangipahoa Parish would not have any jurisdiction over artificial wangs seized in, or events which occurred in, Orleans Parish.
"The contents of the bag, if true, are certainly disturbing," Sheriff Edwards said when asked for comment speficially on the supplemental NOPD report and the sex toys detailed therein, "but even Mr. Radosti acknowledged their possession is not criminal. It would have been the subject of an (Internal Affairs) investigation if TPSO had known of them and if Deputy Cason had still been employed by TPSO."
Smith has not yet stood trial on the marijuana charges. He failed to show up for his most recent court date, according to records.
Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.