In Oct. 2009, an undercover police officer made arrangements to purchase cocaine as part of an investigation into a Pennsylvania man. The man was taken into custody for eluding police, possession with the intent to deliver and possession. Now, he is requesting that his case be dismissed because the officer — who is the only witness in the case — was indicted for allegedly not filing drug charges against a teenager in exchange for sex (“Police officers are entitled to a criminal defense too,” April 30, 2015).
Since the officer’s indictment, the district attorney’s office has dismissed several other cases in which the officer was the only witness. Even the appearance of impropriety is enough to call the officer’s testimony into question. In this Pennsylvania man’s case, the officer is the only one who allegedly saw the accused man in the vehicle where cocaine was supposedly found.
The indicted officer is also the only one who had dealings with the confidential informant. Without his testimony, the state will most likely not be able to place this man with the drugs. Further, the man insists that there is no other evidence that he was involved in a drug transaction.
It is now up to the court to decide whether the drug charges against this man should be dismissed. Prosecutors are tasked with proving the guilt of an individual beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If the only evidence or witness statement available is tainted by the alleged criminal act or acts of an officer, that task becomes nearly impossible.
Source: lancasteronline.com, “Man seeks drug case dismissal, citing officer’s indictment”, May 26, 2015