Registered: 1093245644 Posts: 530
Reply with quote #1
These are two news storys that were just released I would like everyone to read and hopefully leave a comment.
DPD informant says she planted fake drugs
Woman also accuses officer of policy violations
06:35 AM CDT on Friday, September 10, 2004
By BRETT SHIPP / WFAA-TV
A Dallas police informant involved in one of the fake-drug cases from three years ago said she knowingly planted fake drugs on innocent people.
She also accuses the officer she worked with of several violations of department policy.
The allegations against Dallas officer David Larsen are not new, and his attorneys said he has already been cleared by an internal affairs investigation. However, this is the first time the informant has spoken out, and some said what she is saying raises new questions about how Dallas narcotics detectives conduct business.
1/31/02: Fake-drug case takes new turn
2/1/02: Former drug suspect angry over alleged setup
8/7/02: Suit alleges man was wrongly targeted for drug search
Timeline: Fake Drugs, Real Lives
Video: Brett Shipp reports
In January 2002, News 8 first reported that fake drugs were planted on two people arrested in a West Dallas raid. The officer and informant involved were not the same two involved in all the other "fake drug" cases; this time it was Larsen and his informant Mary Deal.
Larsen and Deal worked together on another questionable case, which involved the January 2002 raid on Dwaine Lord's house.
"(The) 'bam,' I guess was my door being kicked open, and I started to get up, and that's when the grenade went off and it blew me out of the bed," Lord said.
During that raid, however, no drugs were found at all, and no arrest was made. Lord is now suing Larsen and Deal, alleging they conspired to set him up.
Lord's attorney Doug Larson said there are numerous holes in the police reports.
"There are a lot of discrepancies," he said.
A drug buy report dated January 8 indicates Deal visited Lord's house and paid $400 for 17 grams of heroin, which field-tested positive.
However, the search warrant affidavit said the buy was made on January 9, and two Latin American males were in charge of the premises. On January 11, Deal allegedly went back to the house and paid a white male $750 for 27.4 grams of heroin, which again field-tested positive.
When police raided the house, they found no drugs, and no mention of what happened to the $750 Deal allegedly used to buy the drugs. Lord said he was roughed up, but set free.
So if they field-tested the drugs positive on that day, why didn't Lord go to jail?
"Good question, I don't know the answer to that," attorney Larson said. "Something smells rotten about this whole thing."
What also smells bad, according to Larson, are conflicting signatures for officer David Larsen on two different drug buy reports from 1999.
In a sworn declaration, Mary Deal claimed she used to "get money from Officer David Larsen by simply calling him and telling him she was in need of cash."
Deal said she "can only remember a couple of occasions when there was a witness present when Officer Larsen was paying her reward money." That would be an apparent violation of department policy.
Deal also said in some of the cases, "the substances seized by Officer Larsen were not actual drugs but rather 'fake drugs' planted on an unsuspecting individual."
Attorney Robert Baskett represents Officer Larsen, and said Deal was coerced into making the statements. He said the allegations have been investigated by Dallas Police and federal agents, and that his client has been cleared twice.
"Since I don't know what she's talking about, and nobody else does either, we can't test her knowledge or her credibility," Baskett said.
Additionally, the Dallas Police Department Public Integrity Division has interviewed Deal.
"She has, in fact, retracted a significant amount of it," Baskett said.
Mary Deal is currently in the county jail serving time for drug possession. Through an attorney, she said Thursday she stands by her statement and is willing to take a polygraph.
Unrelated Story # 2
Fake-drug case takes new turn
More suspects released; another officer was involved
11:24 PM CDT on Thursday, September 9, 2004
By BRETT SHIPP / WFAA-TV
The fake-drugs investigation has taken a dramatic new turn, with word that drugs confiscated in a raid last May are also fake.
Charges against the two suspects in those cases were dropped Thursday. But the story doesn't end there. News 8 has learned that police and the District Attorney were told four and a half months ago that the drugs were bad, yet only Thursday was something done about it.
Frankie Wester rejoiced once she had heard the news that her daughter Joy Everett and daughter's boyfriend Patrick Grogan are having their drug cases dismissed.
"Oh, thank you Jesus ... God Bless America," Wester said.
The pair were arrested at their home on May 25 by a Dallas Police Department undercover officer working with a confidential informant. This case involved a different officer and informant than the ones called into question in the cases involving Hispanic laborers and mechanics.
Police say they found a large bag of speed underneath a living room sofa, and another in a bedroom drawer, and a smaller one lying out on a night stand. 479 grams in all, and by all accounts a nice-sized bust.
The main officer involved reported that the speed seized tested positive in the field. But from the beginning, Everett's mother says her daughter maintained her innocence.
"She knew who set her up," Wester said. "She knew when she was set up."
Wester also said her daughter thinks it was an officer that set her up.
Everett's son Jonathan, who was home during the raid, says they personally knew the informant who had come over to the house to borrow flour.
"She got it, she left, (and) ten minutes later they came," he said.
Months later, the lab test results showed that bag number one, bag number two and bag number three all did not contain a controlled substance.
The date stamped on the results was September 14. But no one - not police, nor the District Attorney - told the suspects, who were out on bond, that the drugs were fake. The results were never made public until attorney Cynthia Barbare asked to see them.
"The case wasn't dismissed until today, until I went down there and asked for the lab (results)," Barbare said.
Barbare, who is credited for being one of the first to raise questions about the rash of fake drug cases, says she sees a disturbing pattern that is not being responded to by Dallas Police Chief Terrell Bolton.
"This case involves one of these officers that I believe needs to be out there on suspended leave, just like the main two officers who are on suspended leave," Barbare said.
News 8 has previously reported on eight officers who have played a key role in many, if not most, of the fake drug cases. Add to that the officer in this new case, who has played a major role in the arrests of three defendants in fake drug cases.
District Attorney Bill Hill had no comment as to why the test results were kept secret for so long. He did acknowledge, however, that questions now surround more officers.
"I do think as a result of this revelation, we will expand our review and investigation," Hill said.
Frankie Wester says she's counting on that investigation to put someone really guilty behind bars.
"What should happen to him? I think he should be punished, because it's not just my daughter and her families life and our lives," Wester said. "It's a lot of other people that have been involved in this."
The District Attorney has also dismissed charges against a third defendant, after lab results released Thursday uncovered yet another case involving fake drugs.
In all, 21 former suspects have had their cases dismissed because of fake drugs. The District Attorney says more dismissals are in the works. A Dallas Police Department spokesman had no comment.
In related news, the main informant involved in the fake drug investigation is in custody. The 44-year-old man allegedly supplied information that police used to make dozens of drug arrests.
Most of the drugs he led them to, however, turned out to be [ fake. He was paid $200,000 for the information he supplied to police.
INS detained him because of his illegal immigrant status. He is being held in the Denton County Jail.