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Lawsuit: Michigan State Police, Ingham County ‘reckless’ to rely on informant in false drug arrest


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A Lansing man is suing five police officers, Ingham County and a confidential police informant for what he says was a mistaken identity arrest. 

The five officers — four from Michigan State Police and one from the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office — were working with a confidential informant who told them a man named Al Jessup could sell him heroin and cocaine, according to a police report. 

According to the lawsuit, the informant lied to police about the seller’s identity and police were “reckless” in relying on the information.

Police bought drugs twice from a man they believed to be Jessup, using their informant as the buyer, according to the police report. 

However, Jessup was not the man selling the drugs either time, according to the lawsuit. 

In December 2018, the Michigan State Police forensics lab confirmed the drugs were cocaine and heroin. Prosecutors filed two charges of dealing and manufacturing a controlled substance against Jessup in February 2019. 

Jessup wasn’t arrested until May 27, 2019. Nine days later, prosecutors asked to dismiss the charges. Ingham County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mike Cheltenham said prosecutors could not sustain the necessary burden of proof. He declined to elaborate further. 

“The warrant issued for Al Jessup’s arrest was not supported by probable cause,” according to the lawsuit. “Defendant Confidential Informant #28068 is responsible for Jessup’s illegal arrest by lying to police…(The MSP troopers) are responsible for the illegal arrest by not ensuring they had probable cause before seeking an arrest warrant.” 

The lawsuit says Ingham County is liable because its policies “either allowed for an unreliable CI to be employed or allowed for (the deputy) to work with an unreliable CI employed by Michigan State Police.” 

Police said they identified Jessup as the seller using his Michigan Secretary of State photo, and the informant identified Jessup both in person and with his state photo. 

He now has lost faith in the justice system and fears law enforcement, according to the lawsuit. 

This is not possible, according to the lawsuit, because Jessup was not the man who sold the informant the drugs. 

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The post Lawsuit: Michigan State Police, Ingham County ‘reckless’ to rely on informant in false drug arrest appeared first on Komorn Law.

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