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