Federal judge finds probable cause in case against Spurs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2006

FERRIDAY &8212; U.S. District Judge James Kirk found probable cause Monday in Alexandria to proceed with prosecution of Concordia Parish Sheriff&8217;s Office jailer Dave Spurs.

Spurs, of Ferriday, was arrested Thursday on three counts of distribution of crack cocaine.

In a probable cause hearing is a preliminary judicial procedure in which the prosecution, in this case the U.S. Attorney&8217;s office, shows the judge it has enough evidence to merit a trial.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Cowles presented only the testimony of a Drug Enforcement Agency agent involved with its investigation, a member of the clerk of court&8217;s office said.

Cowles did not return calls for comment.

Cowles will next present evidence to a grand jury on April 26 in Shreveport. If the grand jury indicts Spurs, he will then be arraigned.

His attorney Joseph Beck II said Spurs would plead not guilty if the grand jury indicts him on drug charges. He said Spurs wouldn&8217;t have much to say before the grand jury hearing.

&8220;If it comes back with an indictment, we&8217;ll have a lot to say about it then,&8221; he said. &8220;It&8217;s kind of hard to say you&8217;re not guilty of something you haven&8217;t been charged with.&8221;

Kirk did not change Spurs&8217; bond conditions, which allow him to be free on an unsecured $25,000 appearance bond.

The bust, part of an ongoing investigation between the DEA and the Louisiana State Police, netted three others, each of who will be prosecuted by the Seventh District Attorney&8217;s office.

The U.S. Attorney has jurisdiction over any case it chooses. Beck said he didn&8217;t know why they chose his client.

&8220;In every federal case I&8217;ve ever worked, there&8217;s been a lot more involved than either side initially knew,&8221; he said.

Beck, of Pollock, said his client has the right to make himself available for testimony before the grand jury but hadn&8217;t decided whether he would advise him to do so.