Drug Cop Misconduct Leads to Vacated Convictions

Andrew Collins, the narcotics officer for the Benton Harbor (Michigan) Police Department, didn't bother to turn over drugs he seized from dealers and users. He just kept them for himself. But that's not the worst.

Collins also reported fictitious drug sales he made as an officer to improperly gain search warrants and embezzle funds from the police department.

Collins has been arrested and indicted. After meeting with the FBI, Berrien County Prosecutor Arthur Cotter decided to reopen and dismiss seven cases that resulted from "perjured testimony, planted evidence, or false information contained in affidavits which were used to obtain warrants." More unlawfully obtained convictions may be vacated as the review of Collins' work continues.

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    Benton Harbor is in Michigan. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 11:38:15 AM EST
    The newspaper is in South Bend, Indiana.

    I knew that. (none / 0) (#2)
    by TChris on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 11:41:23 AM EST
    ;)  Thanks for the catch.

    Seems to me like every case he (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 11:41:58 AM EST
    touched will have to be (a) reviewed and (b) almost certainly tossed.

    The bigger part of the effort will be making crystal clear to the people of Benton Harbor that it was the cop's wrongdoing that causes such a result.  Something along the lines of:

    "You're a law-abiding taxpaying resident of Our Fair City.  How would you feel if you, or a member of your family was treated the way Crooked Officer Dumbo treated the people whose convictions we're vacating?  If he made up cases against you or your family like he did to them?  You'd want your record cleared because you were innocent, right?"

    When criminal law.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 01:14:25 PM EST
    doesn't jive with the will of the people, rotten corrupted law enforcement will surely follow.

    I'm amazed more cops aren't on the take in the drug game....that is the only surprise to me.  Prohibition is a license to steal and cheat.