There are a number of reasons why a defendant may be released from custody.
However, it’s not very common to see it happen because of an investigation
into a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent. One such case has resulted
in at least dozen defendants being released and possibly up to 21 more.
There is even one man who was convicted but hadn’t been sentenced
yet who has been released. The release of the defendants happened very
quietly. However, defense attorneys believe that the scope of the investigation
is “virtually unprecedented.”
The FBI agent in question was assigned to the Washington, D.C., area. While
there are no criminal charges pending against the agent, he or she has
been indefinitely suspended.
One man who has served part of a federal sentence has been sent back to
D.C. after serving only nine months of a 10-year sentence. Others have
been released who were sentenced as well, and some have been waiting trial.
It seems that the defendants involved in the agent’s cases were
in all stages of the criminal process. Some have been released to home
monitoring as of now.
There are many drug crime cases involved. However, the main one involved
13 defendants, 11 pounds of cocaine and heroin and an alleged drug trafficking
ring that ran from California to dealers in Maryland, Virginia and D.C.
The group was also alleged to have been involved in identity theft.
This isn’t the only time that possible misconduct has resulted in
dismissed cases. In 1987, 300 criminal cases were dropped after it came
to light that officers were taking
money and drugs off arrestees.
As you can see, there are cases in which the prosecution’s witnesses
may have lied or the evidence won’t hold up in court. An experienced
Maryland attorney will work aggressively to get such testimony and evidence
thrown out of court.
Source: The Washington Post, “Probe of FBI agent leads to release of convicted drug dealers from prison” Peter Hermann, Oct. 31, 2014