Former Merryville police chief pleads guilty

DERIDDER, La. (AP) - Former Merryville police chief James Fowler has pleaded guilty to abusing his office by falsifying arrest documents after going to Texas to find drugs on a woman whom he had released after a traffic stop.

The Beauregard Daily News ( ) reports that Fowler pleaded guilty Monday in Beauregard Parish court. He was given a suspended 3-year prison term, 60 days in jail, three years on probation and $1,500 in fines.

Louisiana State Police booked him in August on charges of malfeasance in office, abuse of office, and filing or maintaining false public records.

State police said he had searched a car without finding any drugs, but learned shortly afterward that one passenger might have illegal drugs in her purse. He crossed the state line to find the car.

Information from: Beauregard Daily News,

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