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Former Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Employee and Local Woman Charged in a Bribery Scheme

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that SONJA DYSON EVANS, 58, of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and SHAWANDA DOVE, 51, of Amite, Louisiana were charged on November 23, 2020, in a bill of information with one count of violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 1952(a)(3) and 2, use of an interstate facility with intent to carry on unlawful activity.

According to the bill of information, at the time of the offense, EVANS was employed by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office as a Criminal Records Division Supervisor.  From January 2016 through January 2017, both EVANS and DOVE used cell phones to carry out a bribery scheme.  EVANS solicited and accepted bribe money from DOVE in exchange for fraudulent bonds used for the release of incarcerated persons. If convicted, both women face a maximum penalty of five (5) years incarceration, a $250,000 fine, a three (3) year term of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00.

An information is merely an accusation.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Tracey Knight is in charge of the prosecution.

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