Sheriff: Deputy was not planting evidence

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By WWL
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto says video that appears to show a deputy placing evidence at the scene of an arrest is not what it seems.

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The sheriff said all deputies on the scene have given consistent statements, and the suspect himself has admitted the contraband was his.

"The drugs that were on the scene were previously confiscated from the suspect's pocket before the video started to play," said Sheriff Lopinto. "It was in his right hand, which he transferred to the left hand which he placed on the ground during his search for additional evidence that was on the scene."

The sheriff said the suspect, Dominique Griffin, admitted that the contraband was his.

"I actually have to thank him. It's not often in law enforcement that we thank the suspects that we arrest," said the sheriff. "He showed a lot of remorse."

Sheriff Lopinto said a search warrant served on Griffin's phone also showed he was engaged in drug sales.

"Mr. Griffin understood that obviously he's looking to serve a lot of time because he's been arrested and convicted  of drug charges in the past," said Lopinto. "He also understood the gravity of this situation, with the accusations that were being made."

The sheriff said while field tests on the substance were negative, the crime lab's test confirmed it was methamphetamine.