Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Innocent man arrested, jailed 10 days for having same name as drug dealer
Police State USA ^ | June 4, 2014 | Site Staff

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 didn’t work out that way.

Despite collecting no evidence at Thompson’s 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 isn’t 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 Thompson’s 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. Thompson’s 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.

* * * * *

This case clearly illustrates the point that anyone — innocent or guilty — can be the target of government’s 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 didn’t 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.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: donutwatch; falsearrest; steventhompson; wod
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-71 next last

1 posted on 06/05/2014 7:42:23 AM PDT by Altariel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Altariel

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.


2 posted on 06/05/2014 7:46:46 AM PDT by DaveA37
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

Prudent he complied with the illegal arrest, thus avoiding possible tasing, beating, or death.


3 posted on 06/05/2014 7:51:09 AM PDT by luvbach1 (We are finished. It will just take a while before everyone realizes it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel; DaveA37; Chode; SgtBob

This will NEVER be removed from His record. This Man is screwed for life.

STUPID F’ING Pigs!!!


4 posted on 06/05/2014 7:51:24 AM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!! Once again dingy hairball, STFU!!! You corrupt POS!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
Nowadays, the only difference between most LEOs and a common street gang is state sponsorship and immunity from prosecution.
5 posted on 06/05/2014 7:52:04 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

Suing the government is not easy. These rascals should go to jail, but that will never happen.


6 posted on 06/05/2014 7:54:48 AM PDT by immadashell (The inmates are running the asylum.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

He had to prove his innocence despite having a different birthdate, middle name, and no evidence.


7 posted on 06/05/2014 7:57:54 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

Three felonies a day.

He’s guilty of SOMETHING.

</sarc>


8 posted on 06/05/2014 7:59:32 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DaveA37

Actually he did get his job back after the head of the drug task force called the employer and explained what happened.


9 posted on 06/05/2014 8:00:29 AM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("The rat always knows when he's in with weasels"-- Tom Waits)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
Something smells in this story. It took him 10 days, WITH a lawyer, to prove that the police had the wrong guy?!

If nothing else, he is guilty of stupid.

10 posted on 06/05/2014 8:00:55 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

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”.


11 posted on 06/05/2014 8:00:58 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum

You forgot to mention the uniform.


12 posted on 06/05/2014 8:03:34 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: fwdude
Memorial Day Weekend?

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.

13 posted on 06/05/2014 8:06:32 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

oy, you are correct


14 posted on 06/05/2014 8:08:43 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: pierrem15

A holiday weekend is three days. 3 < 10. Try again.


15 posted on 06/05/2014 8:08:49 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

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.


16 posted on 06/05/2014 8:09:13 AM PDT by greene66
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pierrem15

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.


17 posted on 06/05/2014 8:10:40 AM PDT by pleasedontzotme
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
Moral of the story: Don't have a common name.

John Smiths are in serious trouble.

I'm highly unlikely to be arrested, mistaken for someone with the same name.

18 posted on 06/05/2014 8:11:05 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

The article is from a cop-hating website. Gee, I wonder what slant they are going to put on this?


19 posted on 06/05/2014 8:16:08 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pleasedontzotme

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.


20 posted on 06/05/2014 8:18:35 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

i am no friend of the government but the fact is the differences in name and such were not found out for 10 days. Not like they held him after they found out?
Still the state and the DA’s office need to make restitution to this man. His old job should be hreatened with a suit as well if they don’t take him back. Legal fees. And a juicy payout for anguish.


21 posted on 06/05/2014 8:25:03 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: fwdude
That would just get you an arraignment/bond hearing, not a hearing to determine whether there was a case of mistaken identity.

The guy is lucky it was only ten days. Usually they'll let you rot in jail for at least two weeks before another hearing to give you a chance to get a lawyer and have him review the case, assuming you can't make bond.

The system is designed to force you to cop a plea, even if you are innocent, simply because it's easier for the "justice" system that way.

22 posted on 06/05/2014 8:28:01 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: fwdude
Usually that adjudication would simply be an arraignment/bond hearing where you enter a plea-- you would not have an opportunity to contest the charges.

You're lucky you have a 24 hour requirement for that: many jurisdictions do not.

In Chicago, some guy was released after two years of continuances without ever having gone to trial.

23 posted on 06/05/2014 8:32:01 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: pierrem15
At the arraignment, the magistrate obtains the probable cause from the arresting officer and has to give the arrested subject the opportunity to offer evidence to the contrary. At least, this is the way it is in Texas.

If this does turn out to be a case of gross judicial abuse/misconduct/incompetence, I hope the guy makes a million from a lawsuit. But I'm not taking the screed of a cop-hating website as firm, unbiased fact.

24 posted on 06/05/2014 8:32:50 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: pierrem15; fwdude; Altariel

I would say that part of the delay was deliberate in effort to cover up their bureaucratic bungling. You can be sure a ‘sanitation’ of what happened, a search for a fall guy and more than likely a full investigation Mr. Thompson was done in an effort to find some other charges they could hold him on anything from back child support to a missed court date 10 years ago for a traffic ticket.


25 posted on 06/05/2014 8:33:37 AM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: wiggen

ummmm it took them 10 days to figure out the guys name? 10 days when they could have opened in wallet.

More likely it took them about 4 hours to figure out they had the wrong guy and 9 1/2 days to come up with an excuse. Of course the lazy factor may have raised the 4 hours a bit.

The incompetents need to be fired.


26 posted on 06/05/2014 8:35:30 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: DaveA37

Time for more than a lawsuit. Time to drop sovereign immunity and shield laws for public sector employees. As more and more govt functions migrate out of the realm of clerical workers (read Democrat politicians and voters) and into data aggregation, we’ll see how excited the low information types are about Big Govt.


27 posted on 06/05/2014 8:39:09 AM PDT by ameribbean expat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: fwdude
I think Texas runs much more "cleanly" than many other states, but I also think (given the facts in the case) that this guy would have had big problems anywhere because the data originally entered in the system was his and not the other person's.

I'm not a "cop hater," but I don't harbor illusions about the police: they are- at best - a necessary evil, and much of our talk about "constitutional rights" means little to the many I've known who have been arrested and beaten simply for "contempt of cop."

28 posted on 06/05/2014 8:40:40 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: pierrem15

In our ‘justice’ system you only have rights if you have a lawyer and lots of money.


29 posted on 06/05/2014 8:42:05 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

I was in court one Monday morning back in 1972 or so to deal with a traffic ticket. The case before mine involved a black man who had been awakened and arrested in his home at 6:30am the Saturday before. Alexandria Va. police had a warrant and took him to jail where he sat till Monday. When the judge asked him if he was “John James Jones” (don’t remember the exact name) he said no your honor, I am John Thomas Jones. The judge looked at the warrant, then at him. The judge said I see you’re not 6’2” (he was short), you aren’t 250lbs (he was skinny), and you aren’t 60 years old (he was in his 20s). The judge then signed a paper and gave it to him and said, “Here, you’ll need this when you sue the city.”


30 posted on 06/05/2014 8:42:57 AM PDT by W.Lee (After the first one, the rest are free.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kartographer
What I'm saying is this delay is actually quite short. The fact that they corrected the problem and released him within 10 days given the facts is actually somewhat miraculous.

The real problem is, How did the bad data get in the system? What steps have been taken to prevent it from happening again?

31 posted on 06/05/2014 8:45:41 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

it is very easy to go from mistake to “slap” arrest. (ala slap suits)

ALL this cases should be subject to attorney disbarment hearings on the prosecutors.

it is too easy to nifong.


32 posted on 06/05/2014 8:46:24 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pierrem15

one second is too much time.

citizens are not guilty until proven guilty.


33 posted on 06/05/2014 8:48:13 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver
That's pretty much it: you have all the rights and constitutional protections for which you can afford to pay. Outside of that, you will simply be coerced into taking a plea bargain.

We have the best justice money can buy.

34 posted on 06/05/2014 8:48:39 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

So when they entered his finger prints into IAFIS nothing came back that would exclude him as a suspect or even a criminal?

Cha Ching!


35 posted on 06/05/2014 8:53:24 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Sohhhh he should change his name to something like Pocahontas?

LOL

(/S. Obviously)


36 posted on 06/05/2014 8:56:38 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Altariel; Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; albertp; Alexander Rubin; Allosaurs_r_us; amchugh; ...
Mr. Thompson’s false arrest caused him to rack up bills, face threats of eviction from his home, and lose his job after 6 years of employment.



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
37 posted on 06/05/2014 8:59:10 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver
As it mentions in the excerpt, they had this guy's name and DOB on the warrant. That is why when he said "it's not me" they would not have let him go. What happened is they wanted to arrest a different guy, with a different middle initial and DOB, but somehow, this guy's name was used instead for the warrant. An error somewhere along the way prior to issuing the arrest warrant. And that is the error that needs to be found.

In any event, the guy is owed some serious damages. Initially, it's not intentional, it's a negligence case, like a car accident involving a city employee. If they held him after they should have figured it out, then it's also a false arrest.

38 posted on 06/05/2014 9:16:30 AM PDT by Defiant (Let the Tea Party win, and we will declare peace on the American people and go home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: DaveA37; Chode

“Time for a lawsuit”

Was thinking the same thing. The city, his job, you name it.

How could they make a mistake like this after they got him to the jail and saw his face? Not like they don’t keep mugshots here in the year 2014. Know what I mean?


39 posted on 06/05/2014 9:45:48 AM PDT by Morgana ( Always a bit of truth in dark humor.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: luvbach1

Indeed.


40 posted on 06/05/2014 10:08:57 AM PDT by Rusty0604
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

Guilty until proven innocent. I remember as a kid being taught that “innocent until proven guilty” was another reason to be proud of this country, but just like everything else, that is no longer the case.


41 posted on 06/05/2014 10:11:37 AM PDT by Rusty0604
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
"And this represents just one of countless botched arrests and injustices that have been caused by the War on Drugs."

This line fried me! How about not hiring retards to work in Government? 10 days to figure out they had the wrong guy? Really? What about the retards kicking in the wrong door because they can't read the numbers on the house. Or shooting a dog on the inside of house when answering a burglar alarm. Look in the window, the dog is NOT barking. SO duh! No one is in the house. But by all means lets kick the door down and kill a dog or person who is trying to defend their property.

Rant off.

42 posted on 06/05/2014 10:20:38 AM PDT by defconw (Well now what?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: defconw

Not accidental or a consequence of stupidity.

So long as people brush it off as idiocy, the problem won’t be resolved.

Why do they shoot dogs?

They get away with it.

Entering an innocent man’s house?

They get away with it.

Throwing a man in jail without making sure they had the right man?

They get away with it.


43 posted on 06/05/2014 11:17:56 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

Just-us system.


44 posted on 06/05/2014 11:19:14 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

How do we get them to stop? I am at a loss.


45 posted on 06/05/2014 11:19:35 AM PDT by defconw (LUTFA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: defconw

Get rid of qualified immunity. Make each and every officer personally liable, for starters.

Other solutions likely also come to mind.


46 posted on 06/05/2014 11:22:26 AM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

Which means we have to get rid of the lawyers!


47 posted on 06/05/2014 11:24:49 AM PDT by defconw (LUTFA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: defconw; Altariel

Not lawyers - first you need to get rid of STATISTS who wrote and passed these Liberty eroding no-knock and SWAT raid drug search laws.

Then once you’ve run them out and repealed all the old guard statist drug search laws, enact new laws governing searches that make police individually + criminally liable for negligence, and make them fiscally accountable to their employer (ie: Joe Taxpayer) when they cost him millions in their latest lawsuit for killing Spot and causing 1st degree burns to your toddler.

In other words, elect Libertarians, or Extremely Liberty Minded Republicans. Heck, there’s even a few Democrats have had enough of this mess to act on it...


48 posted on 06/05/2014 11:39:01 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: 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.

Sounds like he needs to end up owning him a police department of his very own.

49 posted on 06/05/2014 11:42:59 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kartographer

Bingo.


50 posted on 06/05/2014 12:15:35 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-71 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson