A Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy who ran into controversy last year after repeatedly punching a teenager in the face during Carnival has been arrested and accused of acquiring prescription pills by fraud.
Nicholas Breaux, 29, a mixed martial arts fighter and former JPSO detective, was booked Friday on counts of possessing a controlled dangerous substance by fraud or forgery and obtaining a controlled dangerous substance from multiple doctors.
Breaux, who has resigned from the Sheriff’s Office, quickly posted a $10,000 bond and was released from jail, according to court records.
The Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that authorities received information earlier this month that Breaux, who had been assigned to the department’s Street Crimes Division, “approached an individual attempting to purchase pain medication.”
An investigation revealed that Breaux “was visiting several physicians obtaining pain medication and other controlled substances,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“Additionally, investigators learned Detective Breaux submitted a fraudulent prescription for hydrocodone to a local pharmacy,” the statement said. “This pharmacy filled the prescription.”
Breaux, an eight-year employee of the Sheriff’s Office, was thrust into the spotlight last year after a scuffle with a teenager named Brady Becker following the Krewe of Centurions parade in Metairie — an arrest captured on a cellphone video that went viral.
The Sheriff’s Office said Becker, a high school student from Reserve, drunkenly punched and tried to strangle Breaux as he was being arrested in the parking garage of the Lakeside Shopping Center.
Becker and his family said a widely publicized cellphone video of the altercation told a different story. They alleged that Breaux, who was in plainclothes on the night of the Feb. 13, 2015, incident, used excessive force when he punched the teen in the face four times.
The FBI opened a civil rights inquiry into the arrest, but the U.S. Justice Department did not bring any charges.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand strongly defended Breaux in the wake of the incident and accused Becker of trying to “bamboozle the public.” The sheriff suggested the teen should “maybe stay off the alcohol.”
“Sometimes what’s constitutional and what’s accepted under the law ain’t always pretty,” Normand said in March of last year.
The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office charged Becker with resisting an officer, disturbing the peace and remaining in a place after forbidden in October. He is still awaiting trial, according to court records.
Breaux’s next court date, meanwhile, is set for May 2.
Becker’s mother filed a $5 million federal civil rights lawsuit against Breaux last year, claiming the injuries Becker received during his arrest “impede his ability to complete his academic work and to participate in athletics.” That litigation has been stayed pending Becker’s criminal case.