Luling doctor pleads not guilty
Attorney says feds already cleared his client
|By The St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office|
David Sampognaro, 44, Luling
Answering the indictment on Tuesday, as Sampognaro was arraigned, he entered a plea of not guilty.
Sampognaro’s attorney Randy Smith said, “He is absolutely not guilty of these charges.”
“The investigation started on the federal side; it came through the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans. They looked at this case for 18 months.... After a full review, there was no basis to pursue the charges,” said Smith, adding that his client was completely cooperative throughout the process.
Smith said that Sampognaro has been under the scutiny of authorities since 2004.
Sampognaro's arrest came from a state-issued warrant, although a multitude of agencies were involved.
According to reports from the D.A.’s office, the sheriff’s office and U.S. Immigration, the indictment stems from a raid of Sampognaro's home on January 13, when police officials seized 58 digital files of child pornography from his computer. The raid was part of an operation executed by special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Louisiana Attorney General's Office and deputies from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office.
"During the search, several items were seized, including Dr. Sampognaro's home computer, related storage media and documents. A subsequent forensic analysis revealed that Dr. Sampognaro had images of child pornography stored in his computer. During two separate interviews with authorities, Dr. Sampognaro discussed his child pornography activities," according to U.S. Immigration Officials.
Another problem Smith says is that Samponaro’s life is in limbo while he fights these charges, which he feels have gone on for too long. “He is on forced leave from his job; he is not getting paid; it hard on his wife and kids,” said Smith.
"Child pornography data stored on computers ultimately leads us to find and arrest predators who harm children," said Michael A. Holt, special agent-in-charge of ICE in New Orleans. "ICE will continue to work with State's Attorneys General and local sheriff's offices and police departments to hold accountable those who prey on the most vulnerable in our society."
The arrest of Sampognaro was part of Operation Predator, an initiative headed by U.S. Immigration that targets. Operation Predator has netted 26 arrests in Louisiana.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
On a recent trip to Lake Cataouatche and the Salvador Management Area, Chris Loupe...
Steve Todd may have been the last participant in Saturday’s Bridge Run to cross the...
A malnourished horse found wrapped up in rope in a desolate field has gotten a new...
A suspect in the December 2012 murder of Norco resident Jay Bertucci was...
Nearly seven years after the 2007 murder of Hilda Mae Warren, family members are...
Employees of Home Depot, along with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post...
Advanced Air is state licensed and locally owned and operated. We provide prompt, courteous service and are available 24 hours for St. Charles and surrounding parishes. Call us day or night for all your a/c and heating needs!
Suspects eyed in murder of Destrehan church volunteer - 1844 views
Nearly five months after 23-year-old Ramal Ellis was found shot to death behind the church where he volunteered his time, officials with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office say suspects have been identified in connection with the murder, though any arrests will have to wait until the evidence is fully processed.