A North Carolina man recently endured an expensive and time-consuming ordeal involving mistaken identity and drug charges. The 22-year-old man was unaware that he was listed as a most-wanted man in the city of Statesville. Shocked when he saw his photo on a wanted poster, he turned himself in to police in an attempt to avoid more public embarrassment. However, as a result of the false drug charges, the man was still suspended from his job.
The 22-year-old ended up draining his bank account in order to post the required $900 bond to get out of jail. He and his mother pleaded with police to look more closely at photos of the young man and compare them to surveillance photos of the suspect. Apparently after police studied the photos more carefully, the charges against the 22-year-old were dropped.
When the police chief attempted to explain how this scenario could have occurred, he stated that two investigators had viewed the pictures of the suspect and believed that the young man was the right person. Still, the investigators were clearly wrong.
The falsely accused young man not only expects reimbursement for the bond he paid; he is also seeking compensation for the wages he lost because of his job suspension. He also wants a formal apology from the police.
The 22-year-old has returned to his job but is still dealing with the fall-out from the false drug charges. The police chief stated that he would help the young man clear his name once and for all, as well as get his money back.
This story shows how mistakes by law enforcement officials can make for detrimental circumstances. Charlotte residents who have been charged with a crime should be fully aware of their rights under federal and North Carolina laws. Just because drug charges have been filed does not necessarily mean the accused individual is guilty.
Source: WSOC TV, "Man wrongly identified as drug trafficker by Statesville police," Dan Tordjman, April 24, 2012