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Wrongful Arrest Lawsuit: Detectives Planted Fake Drugs in Raleigh, NC

Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is crucial when facing any type of criminal charge, especially if a cop plants fake drugs. Even if you are innocent of the accusations, you could find yourself facing serious criminal penalties. This was the situation recently in a North Carolina case when more than a dozen young men found themselves sitting in prison due to the overzealous and unethical actions of law enforcement

North Carolina Police Department Accused Of Wrongdoing In Heroin Trafficking Case

The City of Raleigh, North Carolina, has admitted to wrongdoing on the part of the local police department in investigating and prosecuting an alleged heroin trafficking ring. According to a September 30, 2021, ABC 11 Eyewitness News report, 15 young black men were arrested as part of an undercover investigation, held in jail on up to $500,000 bonds, and faced mandatory minimum sentences of up to 7.5 years in prison based on the faulty testimony and false evidence planted by the arresting police.

Officers involved are accused of planting what was purported to be heroin on the suspects, only to have lab tests later reveal it was an unidentified, harmless substance. Based on that evidence and video taken by the informant that had critical clips missing, the alleged suspects ended up serving a combined total of 2.5 years before the charges were eventually dismissed. Outraged family and friends claim that damages they suffered as a result include:

  • The loss of their jobs;

  • Loss of housing, requiring their families to move at the height of the pandemic;

  • Investigations of their homes and families by Child Protective Services due to their charges;

  • Spiraling debts and plummeting credit scores due to lack of income;

  • Missed family holidays, birthdays, and funerals;

  • Trauma due to the fabricated allegations and their wrongful detention.

City Of Raleigh Agrees To $2 Million Settlement and Promises Policy Changes

After private investigations revealed the planted evidence and other faulty practices used to charge and detain the men, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed against the City Of Raleigh on their behalf. The AP News reported that the recently settled lawsuit, which was filed in April 2021 against the city of Raleigh, a city police officer, and seven of his co-workers, sought compensation for the harm suffered by the men, which included:

  • Economic damages, to cover lost income and other tangible losses they incurred;

  • Non-economic damage, which compensates them for the pain and suffering they experienced as a result of the ordeal;

  • Punitive damage, an additional amount ordered by the judge, designed to punish those at fault for their particularly willful and negligent behavior.

In addition to the compensation awarded through the lawsuit settlement, the City has also agreed to make policy changes. These include recommendations to be implemented by both the Wake County and Raleigh Police Departments, the two law enforcement agencies involved, new policies for testing controlled substances seized in drug arrests, new testing devices to be used in the field, and requirements that arresting officers submit a complete charging packet to the District Attorney in future drug cases.

Are You The Victim Of A Wrongful Arrest?

The South Carolina Statutes (Section 17-13-20) detail the circumstances under which officers are authorized to make arrests. A wrongful or false arrest is one that violates your constitutional rights and occurs due to planted or tampered with evidence, such in the above case, or for any of the other following reasons:

  • False testimony;

  • Evidence obtained during illegal searches and seizures;

  • Arrests made with previously withdrawn or faulty warrants;

  • Overzealousness on the part of prosecutors;

  • The need to meet ‘quotas’ in terms of charging and prosecuting people with crimes;

  • Hidden agendas on the part of the police department, often based on ethnic or racial bias;

  • The desire to protect other, more powerful people, involved;

  • Personal vendettas and arrests are made as an act of revenge or intimidation against an individual or their family members.

If you or someone you love is the victim of a wrongful arrest, it is important to get an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side immediately.

Protecting You Against Wrongful Arrest

While there are no exact figures on wrongful arrests, civil rights groups maintain that it is a major problem. According to the National Register Of Exonerations, hundreds of people are cleared each year after having served time in prison on charges in which they were innocent. In the majority of cases, the actions of involved law enforcement agencies and other government officials were ultimately to blame.

Unfortunately, wrongful arrest disproportionately impacts black men and is most likely when charges center around violent crimes and drug offenses. To protect yourself against a wrongful arrest, the loss of your freedom, and other serious impacts you and your loved ones could suffer, reach out to our South Carolina criminal defense attorney as soon as you are arrested or charged with a crime. Actions we can take to protect you include:

  • Thoroughly reviewing the charges against you and the circumstances involved;

  • Reviewing the actions of law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and others involved;

  • Conducting our own investigation into your case, gathering evidence in your favor;

  • Filing a civil lawsuit against those at fault, seeking compensation for the lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages you incurred as a result.

Consult With Our Aiken Criminal Defense and Wrongful Arrest Attorney Today

A wrongful arrest can happen to anyone. Even if you are completely innocent of any criminal charges, you could find yourself faced with heavy fines and a potentially lengthy jail sentence. Wrongful arrest can impact every area of your life, ruining your chances for financial security, jeopardizing your rights and relationships with family, and putting your emotional health at risk. To protect yourself, get The Surasky Law Firm on your side.

With decades’ worth of experience representing clients in our community, you can count on us to act as a strong legal advocate on your behalf. We take on those in authority, uncovering corruption and other unethical practices. Once we secure your freedom, we can guide you in holding those at fault accountable through a civil lawsuit. To consult with our South Carolina criminal defense attorney, call or contact our office online and request an appointment today.


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