NEW ORLEANS -- A bail bondsman pleaded guilty yesterday to bribing at least two judges and several law enforcement officers with cars and cash so they would steer business his way.
Louis Marcotte III will be sentenced to no more than five years and 11 months in exchange for assisting prosecutors, who are investigating corruption at the Jefferson Parish courthouse in suburban New Orleans.
Marcotte left the courtroom without commenting.
US Attorney Jim Letten called the plea agreement with Marcotte a breakthrough in the investigation.
One of the judges, former state District Judge Ronald Bodenheimer, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to charges he accepted gifts from Marcotte, schemed to plant drugs on an FBI informant, and plotted to fix a child custody case. The other judge under suspicion has not been identified.
Gus Crosby, a former officer with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, pleaded guilty last year to fraud and illegal use of a law enforcement database, admitting he gave information to Marcotte for cash.
Crosby and Bodenheimer are to be sentenced April 28.
Prosecutors say Marcotte paid for judges' hotel rooms at casinos on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and hired two children of one judge. Marcotte also bought cars and cellular phones for jailers and gave them cash.