~ Unraveling MAIT ~

The following comment was posted by Nicki Soileau, creator of the Justice for Jefferson Davis Facebook site. Thank you Nicki for allowing us a somewhat humorous, although rather disturbing, view into the circus you encountered in your attempt to unravel the mysterious MAIT team.

I spent my ENTIRE day trying to unravel the enigma which is, MAIT! It stands for Multi-Agency Investigative Team. This is the task force to which Sheriff Ricky Edwards often refers.

My objective was to make contact with ALL of the agencies that Sheriff Edwards stated were members of his task force and get names and contact information for those persons, in order to send each one a formal invitation to a public question and answer forum hosted by our group.

Yes, Sheriff Edwards can tell me that “It’ll never happen”, but if that is the case, then I think we should be able to hear it from each member of the task force, as well as, the department that employs them.

I set a, seemingly modest, goal for the day. I intended to make contact with 13 different agencies listed by Mr. Edwards.

  1. Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office
  2. Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office
  3. Jennings Police Department
  4. 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
  5. 31st Judicial District Attorney’s Office
  6. Louisiana State Police
  7. Louisiana Department of Probation and Parole
  8. Louisiana Department of Justice
  9. FBI
  10. Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab
  11. Louisiana State Police Crime Lab
  12. FBI Crime Lab
  13. FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit

I made 32 phone calls. Many of these people (when I could actually reach a REAL human being, that is) played leap frog with me, transferring me from one department to another, until I had forgotten why I called in the first place. I talked to so many voice mail messaging systems that I began telling my children to leave their message after the tone. I connected with a few live human beings that I, obviously, caught off guard, (because they actually answered their phone) and they were VERY RUDE, minus 2. I sent 31 emails to various departments within departments, many of which were returned as an invalid email address. (Seriously, what was I thinking? I only got the email address from THEIR websites or in some cases by THEM personally, I guess I should have expected that!)

Of these 60 plus contacts, I have received only 3 replies and I have only managed to get 2 ACTUAL names of individuals who are members of our task force! I have broken it down by department so you can see my progress with each one. The results are as follows:

  1. APSO: left a voice mail and sent an email…NO RESPONSE

  2. CPSO: sent an email…NO RESPONSE

  3. Jennings Police Dept.: ALL HAIL Chief Lassiter! He was the first to return my email detailing the member of his department assigned to the task force!

  4. 15th Judicial District Attny: sent an email…NO RESPONSE

  5. 31st Judicial District Attny: Did you know our DA doesn’t even have an email address?! WTH? AnyWho, I left a message for Mr. Cassidy to return my call…guess what?…NO RESPONSE

  6. LA State Police: sent 3 emails to various department heads. I placed a call to Troop D commander, Cpt. Michael Leonards, and nice person number 1. He directed me to the proper contact person, Benny Broussard. I left a voicemail…NO RESPONSE

  7. LA Dept. of Probation and Parole: This was, indeed, an interesting one. I sent 2 emails. One to the director, Eugenie Powers and one to the Regional Director, Phyllis Sheridan. My email to Ms. Powers was returned because her address (as listed on their website) was invalid. Ms. Sheridan, however did reply to my email in order to tell me that her department did have someone assigned to the task force, but the person’s identity was none of our business. She suggested I contact Ricky Edwards. I politely responded that I had already contacted Mr. Edwards and he ping ponged me to her. I also stated that, we, the public had a right to the information I was requesting. No big surprise…NO RESPONSE. UPDATE by Nicki: I got another response from Phyllis Sheridan, the Regional Director in the LA Dept. or Probation and Parole. (If you’ll remember she is the one that basically said it was none of our business) In the email, she asked if I would call her and she provided me with her cell number and her work number. I called her cell number…IT WASN’T HER NUMBER! How can they expect to accomplish the smallest of tasks if they don’t even know their own FREAKIN phone number?!

  8. Department of Justice – Office of the Attorney General: I would like to know just how these folks could find their own butts if they were armed with a search warrant. There was NO ANSWER on practically every number I dialed. After leaving multiple voicemails, I received a call from them in which I was told that THEY did not know how to get in touch with Mr. Caldwell. This woman did, however, give me the names of a few department heads. After sending 6 emails to various divisions of the Attorney General’s Office and getting 2 of them returned for invalid addresses, I received…NO RESPONSE

  9. FBI: Now, HERE is where it gets good. I researched the FBI website. I made note of some contact numbers and found information regarding their crime lab and their behavioral analysis unit. On the website, it states that the FBI formed a cooperative between their departmental resources (one of which is the behavioral analysis unit) called the National Center for Analysis of Violent Crime (NVAVC). The FBI website states that there is “a NCAVC coordinator in each field office.” I first called the FBI office in Lake Charles. The girl that answered basically refused to give me any info on the agent assigned to our task force. She was unwilling and uninterested in helping me with any of my requests. I reminded this person also, that the public has a right to receive the information I was requesting and I expected an answer. After pulling a few more teeth, the woman FINALLY gave me the agent’s name, but refused to give me contact info. I hung in there and wrangled a few more rounds, finally convincing her to connect me with the agent’s voicemail. Hoping to “kill two birds with one stone”, I returned to her asking if there was a NCAVC coordinator in their office…her response….HUH? Nevermind. I called the New Orleans FBI Field Office and talked to the duty agent, Andre Jeanfreau, and nice person number 2. Although he had no idea what a NVAVC was nor did he have ANY information on how to reach the FBI’s Crime Lab or Behavioral Analysis Unit, he was still very diligent and did provide me with the name and number of an agent that oversees internships for the BAU…that was as good as he could do with what he had to work with. Agent Jeanfreau, like myself, was not pleased to find how difficult his agency’s website is to navigate. He ended up Googling the info in order to find the other agents number…yes, you did hear me correctly…thank God for Google!

  10. Southwest LA Crime Lab: Of course, no one was home there either. I left a voicemail and, as of yet, have received…NO RESPONSE

  11. LA State Police Crime Lab: I placed a call to them and the kindly operator gave me (in her most country of accents) the names and email addresses of the director and assistant director of this department. Success! Something was finally simple! I sent emails to both of the individuals and…THEY WERE BOTH RETURNED!…Email addresses INVALID!

  12. FBI Crime Lab: Forget about it!…It ain’t happening

  13. FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit: Pfffttt!….Whateva! What’s a NVAVC coordinator?

So, there it is folks! I don’t know what to say, do or think at this point. I’m going to go have a beer, smoke a cigarette as long as my arm and then get back up and hit it all again tomorrow!

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2 Responses

  1. I am appalled at the response given to Ms.Soileau.
    I want to say a million things, but am just too angry at the lack of care and concern for this case. { Our tax dollars hard at work. }……so I will say this. We cant change everything, but we can do this one thing,
    You have a voice when you VOTE. Many of these are elected officials. Send them home if they do not do their jobs. I am sick to death of the apathy. They work for us. If they cant do their job, VOTE for someone who can and will. We can make a difference in the voting booth. Maybe that will put a fire under their rear ends.

    • I admit I was dazed and amazed myself. It is very troubling to learn of the apparent confusion, lack of communication within departments AND the lack of means to contact a lot of those people/departments. I’m also still questioning the legality of the statement “it’s none of your business”. That probably should be pursued further.

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