Hollenbeck admitted to using his position as a narcotics officer to alert two drug dealers, including one who was supplying him with Oxycodone, that they were the subjects of an undercover operation by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. At the hearing, Criminal Division Chief Collin Sims and Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Authement presented two witnesses to help make their case for the maximum penalty. A local pain management physician testified that Hollenbeck alerted him in March 2017 that he was the subject of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation. DEA Special Agent Salvador Scalia testified that Hollenbeck’s actions were a “very egregious offense” that put the lives of fellow law enforcement officers in extreme danger.
Sims argued passionately against Hollenbeck’s request for a sentence of probation. He said Hollenbeck’s conduct was an embarrassment to the parish and law enforcement community. “It’s conduct like this that erodes confidence in the entire system,” Sims said.
Hollenbeck gave a tearful statement, admitting that his addiction had cost him his home and family. “I’m sorry for everything,” he said. “I’m sorry for the officers I betrayed. I’m sorry for the people I put in danger…I’m sorry to my family. I’m truly sorry.”
In issuing the sentence, Judge Zaunbrecher said the damage to the public trust was among the aggravating factors he considered. But Zaunbrecher said he also considered that Hollenbeck had no prior criminal history, was a combat veteran who had been honorably discharged, and that he was an opioid addict.
Zaunbrecher mandated supervised probation and drug testing for Hollenbeck during the two years following his prison sentence.