Skip to comments.Innocent man arrested, jailed 10 days for having same name as drug dealer
Posted on 06/05/2014 7:42:23 AM PDT by Altariel
CHESTERTON, IN An innocent man was arrested in an early morning raid and jailed for 10 days because he had the same first and last name as a drug suspect. The ordeal caused him to lose his job, rack up bills, and nearly get evicted from his home.
Steven M. Thompson, a service technician at Arcelor-Mittal Steel, received an early morning visit from the Porter County Drug Task Force (PCDTF) on on May 5th. He was taken from his teenage daughter in handcuffs.
Mr. Thompson had done nothing wrong. He assumed the misunderstanding would be easily cleared up once in police custody. Except it didnt work out that way.
Despite collecting no evidence at Thompsons home, he was charged with two Class B felonies for dealing pills and heroin. Each felony carries a 6-20 year prison sentence.
Accused of being a drug dealer, he was locked up in the Porter County Jail. Except he isnt actually a drug dealer.
Days went by and he was not being released. With such difficulty in correcting the error, he began to think that going to prison might be a real possibility.
Finally, on the 10th day of confinement, he was able to prove his innocence with the help of attorney Bob Harper.
Although Thompsons identity matched matched the signed warrant down to the date of birth and middle initial the data on the warrant had been incorrectly obtained. The intended suspect was Steven P. Thompson, who is three years younger and the same race, the Northwest Indiana Gazette confirmed.
Mr. Thompsons false arrest caused him to rack up bills, face threats of eviction from his home, and lose his job after 6 years of employment.
Porter County Prosecutor Brian Gensel oversees the Porter County Drug Task Force (PCDTF), and dropped charges after it was evident that the wrong man had been arrested.
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This case clearly illustrates the point that anyone innocent or guilty can be the target of governments eager efforts to imprison Americans; the police state is not only felt by criminals. Those who turn a blind eye toward overzealous policing fail to recognize how easy it is to be subjected to a false accusation, a wrongful arrest, or a downright corrupt prosecution effort.
Mr. Thompson is lucky in the sense that the ordeal didnt go further than it did. However, he still was fired from his job, lost 10 days of his life, lost his good name, and suffered numerous personal inconveniences. And this represents just one of countless botched arrests and injustices that have been caused by the War on Drugs.
Time for a lawsuit. They least his accusers could do is get his job back, pay his bills and clear his name, unfortunately, that will not happen. I’d still sue them for a hell of a lot of money.
Prudent he complied with the illegal arrest, thus avoiding possible tasing, beating, or death.
This will NEVER be removed from His record. This Man is screwed for life.
STUPID F’ING Pigs!!!
Suing the government is not easy. These rascals should go to jail, but that will never happen.
He had to prove his innocence despite having a different birthdate, middle name, and no evidence.
Three felonies a day.
He’s guilty of SOMETHING.
Actually he did get his job back after the head of the drug task force called the employer and explained what happened.
If nothing else, he is guilty of stupid.
I was arrested for non payment of child support once and don’t have any kids. It was a clerical error and I didn’t start screeching like a 1960s hippie about the “pigs”.
You forgot to mention the uniform.
Seriously, if you think anyone in the criminal justice system gives a rat's ass about how long this took, you're very sadly mistaken.
If you're arrested on a Friday before a long weekend holiday, you'd be lucky to even get a bond hearing by the following Tuesday.
oy, you are correct
A holiday weekend is three days. 3 < 10. Try again.
You’d see this sort of thing happen dozens of times in old 1930s/40s b-movies. Not exactly something new under the sun. But you would think with all the advanced technology and communication of our modern era, such mistakes would be almost impossible nowadays.
Actually, no. Judges routinely go into jails over long weekends (sometimes over weekends) to conduct bail hearings. It’s both out of respect for the defendant’s constitutional rights, and to help ameliorate overcrowding.
John Smiths are in serious trouble.
I'm highly unlikely to be arrested, mistaken for someone with the same name.
The article is from a cop-hating website. Gee, I wonder what slant they are going to put on this?
The jurisdiction I was in had a 24-hour limit for adjudication before a magistrate, even if they had to come in on Christmas. It was similar in most other jurisdictions that I was involved with.