WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Court documents we obtained today show that former New Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Antoine LeBlanc started visiting the CVS Pharmacy on College Rd. and 17th St. with what may have been forged requests for drugs starting in November 2012. During this time, Lt. LeBlanc was second in command of the Vice and Narcotics Division.
The indictments handed up by a grand jury Monday claim that LeBlanc turned in his first forged court order on November 5, 2012, with the fake signatures of both a judge and an assistant district attorney.
He didn’t stop at the CVS again until mid November, but the documents allege that LeBlanc went three times in a week with fake requests – on November 18, 21 and 23, 2012. In early December, LeBlanc turned over more fake documents according to the court records.
Then around Christmas 2012, LeBlanc’s visits became more regular. Once on Dec. 18. Again on Dec. 23. Then it became even more habitual. The grand jury documents say he went to the CVS and requested oxycodone on Dec. 26, 27 and 28, and then on New Year’s Eve. LeBlanc went again the very next day New Year’s Day 2013, the indictments allege. After not showing up for a couple of days, he was back requesting more drugs day after day from Jan. 4-7. The records shows he went to the CVS at least 18 times during the month of January.
In court Monday it was revealed that LeBlanc attended a rehab center in California at some point, but it’s not clear when. LeBlanc did voluntarily submit to a live-in rehabilitation facility in California at some point.
His attorney, J. Michael McGuinness, said LeBlanc “completed (the) program and was placed back in the narcotics unit where he was exposed to the very types of medication that had addicted him.”
Once back at work, LeBlanc got hooked again.
New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon says he and his staff did not know about LeBlanc’s issues.
“Neither I nor my staff have ever had any credible information that LeBlanc attended any drug rehabilitation center,” McMahon said today in a statement. “Furthermore, LeBlanc was questioned by a staff member in March of 2013, in which he adamantly denied attending any drug rehabilitation. Prior to June 2013, LeBlanc never failed a drug test. He was given and passed random tests in 2011 and in 2012 in accordance with Sheriff’s Office drug policy.”
While LeBlanc passed those tests before June 2013, he wasn’t fired until June 11. The Sheriff’s Office refuses to confirm if LeBlanc failed any drug test between June 1 and June 11.
Only five days later, Sheriff McMahon announced he was reorganizing the Vice and Narcotics Division. Lt. J. Hart was also transferred out of the division.
So far, District Attorney Ben David has had to drop 31 total counts of drug charges against nine different defendants because LeBlanc handled the cases, according to the StarNews.
LeBlanc is in jail under a $500,000 bond, but it is not clear where he is being held.