Why the innocent?

Dear editor:

The March 2, 2013 edition of the Times Observer carried an article about drug charges that were dismissed against Charles Sunderlin. The reason for dismissal was the questionable reliability of the Warren County Drug Task Forces informant. Rob Greene (Sunderlin’s attorney) was able to establish through photographic and testimonial evidence, that the task forces informant lied, and no crime was committed by Mr. Sunderlin. The Drug Task Force made the decision to file felony drug charges against Sunderlin based solely upon the word of an informant. I too was a victim of the Warren County Drug Task Force’s rush to judgment tactics. I was charged with 10 felony drug charges solely because an informant told them I committed these crimes.

In my case the Task Force gave an informant a total of $4,800 and instructed him to make 4 (1 oz purchases of cocaine from me at $1,200 an ounce) on diverse dates. On each of the dates they drove the informant to my place of business, sending him inside to supposedly purchase cocaine from me. He would go back and give them some kind of fictitious powder telling them he purchased it from me. Task force members did not observe any physical transaction between their informant and I, and they did not hear any conversation. It took me 1 1/2 years of pure hell trying to get these charges dismissed, not to mention all the public embarrassment and scrutiny associated with crimes of this nature.

The issue that arises in both cases is: Why is the drug task force sending their informants into homes to allegedly buy drugs; when these transactions are not being witnessed by law enforcement personnel, nor are any conversations between the informant and the bad guy being heard and/or recorded? In fact the task force never verifies if a bad guy is even physically present in the house when these alleged transactions occur. They are habitually filing very serious felony drug charges against people solely based upon the word of their informant.

I knew I needed professional help and so I enlisted the services of Attorney Rob Greene and Private Detective Eugene Casasanta. These two men investigated this matter, and they concluded that I did not commit any crimes. The services of the Attorney General’s Office were enlisted and their investigation arrived at the same conclusion; I did not commit any crimes, and the task force informant lied, provided the task force with fictitious junk powder he concocted, and stole the $4,800 that was provided to him from the Task Force.

Andy Lester

Clarendon