SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A former Shreveport police sergeant is back behind bars to await trial on federal drug conspiracy charges after a judge found him in violation of the conditions of his release.
Brian Skinner, along with co-defendant and former Bossier Parish deputy Jonathan Colgin, was indicted in November on charges of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids. Colgin is also charged with misprision of a felony, for allegedly disposing of anabolic steroids and covering up the crime. Both have pleaded not guilty.
According to the indictment, Skinner, Colgin, and “other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury, did knowingly and intentionally conspire and agree together to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute anabolic steroids” between January 1, 2016, and May 22, 2018.
Skinner was released on $24,000 bond with orders not to contact witnesses or potential witnesses. But in early February, federal prosecutors asked for Skinner’s release to be revoked, claiming he had made contact with multiple witnesses, including his estranged wife and his co-defendant.
A hearing was held Tuesday and according to documents filed in federal district court in Shreveport, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that in spite of the court’s “no contact” order, Skinner had made numerous inappropriate contacts with witnesses and potential witnesses.
Federal prosecutors say Skinner met with potential witnesses to coordinate their testimony less than a week after his first appearance in court following his arrest in November, including one that had already given a statement to investigators incriminating him. In their request for Skinner’s bond to be revoked, federal prosecutors also said he had told another witness not to give any statements and warned him that he may be targeted by the investigation. They also say Skinner called his estranged wife and asked her if she had cooperated in the government’s efforts to gather evidence against him. Even before his indictment, prosecutors say Skinner met with a potential witness after patting each other down and removing their cell phones.
On Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed an additional motion, adding details of yet another instance of Skinner allegedly violating the terms of his release. They say Skinner ran into his co-defendant at a restaurant on Jan. 5 and began discussing the case, and then contacted him again on Jan. 9 via Facebook Messenger to give him his cell phone number and asked Colgin to call him.
Prosecutors said in their supplemental motion that an analysis of Skinner’s phone records reveals that he had “frequent and recurring contact with witnesses, potential witnesses, and co-defendants in this case” between the date of his arrest November 22 and January 22.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Hornsby signed an order Wednesday revoking Skinner’s bond and ordering him back into federal custody, finding “clear and convincing evidence that defendant repeatedly violated the no contact order imposed by the court as a condition of his release on bond.”
Through his attorney, Skinner formally objected to the order, denying he had any improper contact with any witnesses, potential witnesses, or his co-defendant and that any contact he may have had would have been made with the belief that they were witnesses for the defense.
The U.S. District Attorney’s Office confirmed Friday that Skinner is now back in federal custody. The trial is set for May 11.
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