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Case Dismissals Could Be Upcoming

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Written by: Aaron Mesmer
06/22/2008

CHARLOTTE – Mecklenburg County’s district attorney says he’ll consider dismissing any case in which two Charlotte police officers facing drug charges played a crucial role.

The district attorney’s office is now going through dozens of cases, trying to figure out which ones can no longer be prosecuted due to the involvement of officers Jason Ross and Gerald Holas. “It’s going to be difficult for the state to prosecute any case that those individuals have been involved in,” said criminal defense attorney Brad Smith.

Peter Gilchrist, the county’s district attorney, says the district attorney’s office will look at each case, gauging the officers’ involvement. “Our job is to do the right thing,” he said. “And any time we think we have a witness who’s not telling the truth, be it an officer or a civilian, or we have questions about their integrity, we don’t use them as witnesses.”

"I couldn't even begin to predict how many pending cases, felony and misdemeanors, that the two officers have,” said Smith.

It could be dozens of cases. Holas was part of the street crimes division and had been with CMPD since 1998. Ross had been a patrol officer since 2002.

Gilchrist says the cases in which the officers were heavily involved will be seriously considered for dismissal. Smith says that’s good news to others in his line of work.

"It's somewhat of a criminal defense attorney's dream,” he said. “If there's any sort of criminal prosecution that those two officers are attached to, it just calls into question the nature of the investigation and the credibility of the investigation."

Smith says, for now, the cases of many accused criminals are up in the air while the state forms its case against the former officers. Authorities say Holas and Ross helped a suspected drug dealer by giving him information about an impending drug bust. The former officers told the FBI they were protecting the dealer for information they could use to arrest his suppliers and customers.

Attorneys for the two couldn’t be reached for comment.

More information at: http://www.news14.com

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