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"Agent" for DA's pretrial diversion program pleads guilty to conspiracy, bribery

U.S. Western District Courthouse
Posted at 1:18 PM, Apr 11, 2023

A man described as an "agent" of the 15th Judicial District Attorney has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy and bribery in a scheme involving the DA's office.

Dusty Guidry, who was arrested in 2021 on drug charges, is accused of creating two companies to accept bribes from four different "vendors" in a bill of information. The bill accused him of two counts of conspiracy, one count of bribery and includes a motion for forfeiture of assets. The court record shows he pleaded guilty to all counts on March 23, three days after the bill of information was filed.

The plea agreement indicates he admitted to accepting more than $730,000 in bribes.

After he posted an appearance bond, the court allowed Guidry to remain free until his sentencing, which is set for July.

Almost a year ago, the FBI searched the District Attorney's Office; DA Don Landry told KATC at the time that they were looking at the pre-trial diversion program. To read that story, click here.

The 10-page bill of information, unsealed last week, lays out a conspiracy that began in 2021 and lasted until 2022 involving the pre-trial diversion program, two unnamed public officials and four "vendors."

Guidry used to work for the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office, but he was working as an "agent" of the Lafayette DA's pre-trial diversion program in January 2021 when the alleged conspiracy began.

Guidry was appointed to the Cajundome Commission by Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, and to the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

One of the unnamed public officials allegedly involved in the conspiracy works for the District Attorney and the other works for the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department, the bill alleges.

We've reached out to District Attorney Don Landry and to the LWFD for comment. We'll update this story as soon as we receive a response.

The four vendors, who also aren't named in the bill, were authorized to participate in the pre-trial dviersion program; defendants who took part in the program were required to pay the vendors directly for their services.

Guidry and other agents of the program, acting under the direction of Guidry and the unnamed public official who worked for the district attorney, referred defendants to the vendors involved, the bill alleges.

The conspiracy began in January 2021 and lasted until about May 2022, the bill alleges. Guidry and his co-conspirators solicited bribes from the vendors in exchange for giving those vendors the DA's business.

Guidry and the unnamed public official who works for the DA's office "loosened the eligibility requirements" so that more defendants could get in - which meant more business for the four vendors, the bill alleges. Those defendants were then directed by Guidry and his partner to those vendors for "classes and services," the bill alleges.

The vendors made payments directly to Guidry or his businesses, and two of them paid money "and other tangible benefits" to Guidry and his partner at the DA's office, the bill alleges.

One of the benefits Guidry allegedly received was the purchase and payments toward a vehicle for him and his wife, the bill alleges. Another vendor made payments or sent things of value directly to Guidry's wife or her company, in order to hide the bribes, the bill alleges. Another vendor paid Guidry half of the revenue earned through the pre-trial diversion program, the bill alleges.

One payment alone was $12,500, the bill alleges.

The second unnamed public official, who the bill states works as an agent for the LDWF, worked with Guidry to solicit and accept bribes from two vendors to help them get business with the state department. The bill alleges that Guidry and this public official used their positions to steer LDWF contracts to the vendors for hunter and boater education classes, and classes that people accused of violations are required to take. They also sent the vendor business for hunting and boating licenses.

The bill alleges that that public official arranged to get the kickbacks from the vendor until after he had retired from LDWF. The vendor also agreed to buy a $14,000 all-terrain vehicle, the bill alleges.

In addition to accusing Guidry of the crimes, the bill also asks that the court order that he forfeit the spoils of his alleged scheme to the government.