DA: Mistakes necessitate need to vacate 27 convictions and charges in drug bust

News 12 is told arrests took place in 2017 as part of a narcotics operation conducted by the Mount Vernon Police Department.

News 12 Staff

May 10, 2023, 4:46 PM

Updated 349 days ago

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Westchester County District Attorney Miriam Rocah announced today that she will seek to vacate the convictions and charges of 27 individuals for their alleged drug sales to an undercover officer.
She says she's taking action due to a pattern of inconsistencies, errors and disclosure issues uncovered by the Conviction Review Unit.
News 12 is told arrests took place in 2017 as part of a narcotics operation conducted by the Mount Vernon Police Department. 
"In light of the allegations made on the secretly-recorded conversations among various Mount Vernon police officers, as well as complaints from the public received by the District Attorney's Office, my Conviction Review Unit conducted an exhaustive examination into certain Mount Vernon police narcotics prosecutions. The Conviction Review Unit's review uncovered inconsistencies, reliability concerns, and significant disclosure issues that leave me unable to stand by the prosecutions connected to the Mount Vernon Police Department's 2017 undercover narcotics operation. As a result, I will seek to vacate these convictions and dismiss the charges. Though rare, wrongful convictions erode community trust and the public's faith in the criminal justice system," says Rocah.
She says this concludes criminal investigation into the department's Narcotics Division, which was prompted by allegations of wrongdoing made by a former officer with the department and secret recordings.


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