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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A shame

A South Florida law enforcement Officer shares confidential details in order to get a date.

A detective hoped to woo a woman by telling her she's a suspected drug runner and showing her photographs of herself in a surveillance lineup, the sheriff's office said.

But Detective Joseph Archambault did not get a date from the potential witness in a quadruple murder investigation.

He got arrested and charged with disclosing confidential information that he obtained while assisting the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office in the investigation of the October shooting deaths of four members of the Escobedo family on Florida's Turnpike.

Archambault, 34, who was a lauded detective in the Palm Beach County sheriff's gang unit, was booked into the county jail on the third-degree felony charge Thursday morning. Bail was set at $25,000, and he was released Thursday afternoon.

Two sergeants who worked down the hall from Archambault investigated the woman's claims after she came forward Nov. 10.

"Nothing is more difficult than conducting an investigation into a law enforcement officer," said his supervisor, sheriff's Capt. Jack Strenges. "It's appalling. ... You cannot share confidential information, period."

Kassandra Lower, 36, told investigators that she met Archambault on the night of Oct. 25, when a search warrant was executed down the street from her home in the Briar Bay development in suburban West Palm Beach. She already had been interviewed by another detective about the Escobedo case and had been under surveillance.

Archambault's job was to make sure no one went near the house down the street when he briefly met Lower.

They did not exchange numbers, but he called her the next day and said she had to meet him in person - a claim corroborated by cellphone records, the arrest report said.

Archambault later said he did not know her name, but he had typed it into his work laptop computer to find her phone number, the arrest report stated.

He also said he did not have a copy of a sheet of surveillance photos, but one was found in his sheriff's office vehicle, along with other photos of people connected to the Escobedo case, the arrest report stated.

Four people suspected in the killings were arrested on drug charges before Archambault called Lower.

Strenges said Archambault's disclosures did not compromise the investigation.

Archambault told investigators that he hoped to have sex with the woman, but she seemed strange. He said they talked about real estate and drank coffee, then she left.

She said he offered her what she thought was cocaine: a white powder cut into lines on a white plate on the coffee table in his living room. She said she declined.

Subsequent tests of Archambault's plates tested negative for narcotics.

His attorney, Scott Richardson, declined to talk about the case, except to say: "Detective Archambault will plead not guilty to the charge. He's obviously very disappointed that the charges have been brought but is very confident, and he expects to be vindicated."

The detective is on unpaid administrative leave until the internal investigation is done.

He began working at the sheriff's office in the south end of Palm Beach County in 2002 and moved to the gang unit in May 2005.

He got 28 letters of commendation praising his work. He was involved in several high-stress situations, including a shootout in which he was one of 18 deputies who fired a gun. He also had been shot at in another incident, but managed to arrest the suspects without firing back.

His latest evaluation was glowing, including this excerpt: Archambault "has shown outstanding interest in the field of intelligence-gathering. Goes out of his way to try and gather intelligence and to pass it on to those who can gain from it. Develops and/or makes use of confidential informants."
I blogged earlier about the Escobedo killings in this post.

It's sad Archambault threw his career away just because he was lonely. However what I said in this post also applies here. If found guilty or if Archambault does a plea, he shouldn't be allowed to work in law enforcement ever again. The public should demand the best from those who enforce and protect.

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