- Associated Press - Thursday, September 29, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Six people, including three New Orleans law enforcement officers, have been indicted in what authorities say was a contraband cigarette trafficking scheme.

The indictments were announced Thursday afternoon by the U.S. attorney’s office in New Orleans. Two New Orleans police officers and an Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy were among those charged.

New Orleans police Chief Michael Harrison said in a news release that his department’s Public Integrity Bureau took part in the investigation. He said the two city police officers were suspended without pay. The sheriff’s office said the deputy resigned Wednesday.

The two officers and the deputy are accused of protecting and transporting contraband cigarettes and cigars in a scheme to evade tobacco taxes.

Court records show the six suspects were indicted Sept. 22. The indictment was unsealed Thursday.

The men were identified as New Orleans police Officers Justin Brown, 29, and Joshua Carthon, 32; Orleans Deputy Garrett Partman, 31; Jadallah Saed, 30, and Anwar Abdelmajid-Ahmad, 29, both of Gretna; and a North Carolina man, Atalla Atalla, 38, of Wilmington.

Online records did not contain information on the suspects’ attorneys as of Thursday afternoon and no hearings had been set. Each faced charges of conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes and related charges.

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