Former Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office employee Sydni Laraie Key was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury Feb. 6 on charges of impersonating a police officer, a third-degree felony.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Examiner, Sydni drove to a Port Arthur home on Sixth Avenue and knocked on the door wearing a Jefferson County Sheriff uniform.
When the resident answered the door, the affidavit said Key advised she was with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and was “conducting an investigation,” and asked for the resident’s name, date of birth and Social Security number.
Thinking this was a legitimate police investigation, the affidavit said the resident gave Key his information, which she wrote down on a notepad, but she would not disclose to the resident what type of investigation she was conducting or for what reason.
“At one point during the conversation, Key pulled her jacket to the side to show (resident’s name withheld) her badge,” the affidavit said.
It was then that Key asked the resident if she could take a photo of him, “and did so with a digital camera,” according to the affidavit.
Once she had gathered all the resident’s personal data and took his photo, the affidavit said Key advised “this concludes it; if you haven’t heard back from me, you don’t have anything to worry about,” before she drove away in a black SUV.
The affidavit said the resident became suspicious since police had used him as an undercover informant in a sting operation in which he was instrumental in selling a large amount of powder cocaine to a now incarcerated suspect. The resident told police he believed Key had something to do with this suspect, who “did have acquaintances that worked at the Jefferson County Jail.
A call by police to Internal Affairs eventually nailed down a suspect and soon after, police brought the resident in to view a photo lineup of six women. The resident) was able to pick out Key, the affidavit said.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office told investigators Key had been terminated March 16, 2013, and an attempt had been made to recover the Jefferson County uniforms issued to Key, but to no avail.
Key was arrested Feb. 1 and posted a $10,000 bond the next day, Feb. 2. Key’s bond was since raised to $50,000 and an improper bond warrant was issued for her arrest, according to court documents. Key is still at large. She is set to appear in Judge John Stevens’ Criminal District Court March 24.