Newsbrief: Louisiana Judge Busted in Dope-Planting Scheme 6/14/02

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Tough-on-crime prosecutor turned hang-'em-high Jefferson Parish Judge Ronald Bodenheimer was arrested on June 5 on charges of plotting to plant illegal drugs in the car of a man who had complained about a New Orleans marina owned by Bodenheimer. Bodenheimer and his associate, Curley Joseph Chewning, were booked for distribution and possession with intent to distribute Oxycontin, along with matching conspiracy charges for each count.

The target of the plot, who remains unidentified, had been supplying information about Bodenheimer and the marina to the FBI since 1999 and had filed numerous complaints to law enforcement and regulatory bodies about drug trafficking and safety and zoning violations at the marina. According to charging documents, Chewning, acting at Bodenheimer's bequest, planted Oxycontin in the man's car on April 19.

Prosecutors released wiretap transcripts that appeared to implicate Bodenheimer in the plot. In one section, Bodenheimer's private investigator, referring to the plot target, said, "I say somebody ought to kick the fuck out of him." Bodenheimer replied, "I want to hurt him worse than that. You know, this boy, the sad part is, he ain't got a shot, he ain't got a chance, he ain't gonna know what hit him."

Bodenheimer had bragged of sending five men to Death Row. Now he is looking at a 20-year sentence himself.

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