Deputy Puts 11 Innocent Men Behind Bars

Matthew Crulls mugshot, from TCPalm.com

Matthew Crulls mugshot, from TCPalm.com

Jessica Townsend, Editor

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Deputy Steven O’Leary has been fired after putting 11 men in Martin County Jail under false drug charges.

O’Leary has faked multiple drug tests in order to incriminate innocent people.  One of the victims, Matthew Crull, was arrested after O’Leary claimed to find 92 grams of heroin in his van. A crime lab test later proved that this was actually laundry soap.

Crull was in jail for 41 days with a possible 25-year sentence. He says that firing the deputy isn’t enough of a punishment and criminal charges should be placed on him. “I’m not saying he ruined my life, but he definitely caused me a lot of emotional distress and a lot of stress on my family,” Crull says (live5news).

Multiples studies have shown that drug tests are faulty between 1 in 5 times, and 1 in 3 times. However, in this case, it appears that the deputy purposefully submitted false information. In addition to the laundry detergent, O’Leary has placed the “drug” label on headache powder and sand, according to Martin County Sheriff William Snyder (washingtonpost).

Detectives are now researching 80 drug related arrests that O’Leary has committed in the past 11 months. Further, 120 substances have been submitted for further lab testing. So far, O’Leary has made no public explanation as to why he made the false drug tests.

Snyder and the rest of the sheriffs office are trying to “make amends” to the falsely jailed individuals. They are helping to expunge their records and pay for court costs (tcpalm). Snyder says, “It’s better that 100 guilty people go free than one innocent person goes to jail. Our goal is always justice, and there was more than enough reasonable doubt on our part on all those arrests that we would not have left anyone in jail one more minute.”

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