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After corrupt drug investigation, prosecutions are dismissed, but so is case against cops

In Robertson, et al., v. Lucas, et al., the Sixth Circuit was presented with the detritus of a Mansfield, Ohio, drug investigation gone dirty.  In short, several police officers worked with a confidential informant to entrap, and in some cases falsely accuse,alleged sellers of crack cocaine.  In its brief summary of the "corruption pervaded Mansfield Investigation," the Court explained that with regard to some arrestees, "law enforcement knew of, and even participated in [the informant's] misdeeds.  There was "copious evidence of wrongdoing" establishing that law enforcement conducted itself inappropriately.  The informant "framed innocent individuals, stole money and drugs...dealt his own drugs on the side" and the involved officers "altered evidence to corroborate [his testimony] and...lied to prosecutors on his behalf."

Officers "supported...false identification of individuals" and admitted doing so; one officer lied about videotaping transactions, even though he had actually operated the camera; another officer corroborated false testimony when the informant was questioned about skimming drug profits; and numerous procedures and protocols were routinely violated. Eventually all criminal charges arising out of the Mansfield Investigation were dropped and one officer was convicted of a criminal civil rights violation.

Nevertheless, since the seven men who sued the involved officers could not directly prove the officers' participation in illegal conduct involving charges brought against them, their claims of illegal search and Constitutional violation were summarily dismissed.

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