On October 4, 2013, my client (TR) was arrested in the Tottenville section of Staten Island for possession of a controlled substance for possessing 61 glassine envelopes containing heroin on his person and in his vehicle. TR maintained his innocence from the beginning. He alleged that a Detective from the Staten Island Narcotics Division lied when he said he saw TR in possession of heroin and planted the 61 glassine envelopes of heroin in his car.
The arrest paperwork said the detective saw TR with ten decks of heroin in his right hand which was CLOSED and that he threw the dope onto the driver’s side floor of his car, where, coincidentally there were 51 additional bags already sitting on the floor in plain view. The detective also attributed a statement to TR that the drugs were for personal use and that TR blurted out that he used “31 bags per day.” TR is in excellent physical condition and is drug tested regularly by his employer as part of his trade union job.
Convincing a judge in Richmond County that a seasoned NYPD narcotics detective planted a large amount of heroin on an innocent person is no easy task. Private Investigator John Doherty was dispatched to the scene and began working on the case with us.
On April 29, 2014, a suppression hearing was held to determine the admissibility of the evidence. I pointed out several inconsistencies between the detective’s testimony and paperwork. While he was on the stand, the detective changed his story and said TR had all 61 bags in his hand the whole time. TR took the stand in his own defense and convinced the Judicial Hearing Officer (“JHO”) that he was telling the truth. The JHO did not believe that it was merely a bad search. Instead, she noted that TR was extremely credible and the detective’s testimony was not. She found the entire case “troubling.”
On June 30, 2014, based on the JHO’s recommendation, the Judge granted our Motion to Suppress the heroin and the statement and dismissed the entire case.