Squad car dashcam shows deputies planning to plant drugs after illegal search found zilch, suit says
A California woman says squad car dashcam video shows Santa Clara sheriff’s deputies planted drug evidence at her home after an illegal search came up clean.
Additionally, says Allison Ross in a federal civil rights suit, she believes the county’s crime lab tampered with blood test results to support a baseless drug case against her, Courthouse News reports.
Initially arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of methamphetamine, Ross saw her drug case dismissed midway through trial after the prosecution became aware false statements had been made to the jury, the suit says. It names the sheriff’s department, its crime lab, the sheriff and 12 sheriff’s officers as defendants.
The article doesn’t include any comment from the defendants or their legal counsel.
Ross says her odyssey through the criminal justice system began New Year’s Eve of 2009, when her husband was arrested on the block as he spoke with a neighbor a few houses away. She alleges that her home was then searched without her consent, under the pretext of conducting a safety sweep concerning a claimed home invasion attempt, as Ross was unlawfully detained.
When the search found no evidence of drugs in the home, sheriff’s deputies planted methamphetamine from one of their vehicles and arrested Ross on suspicion of being under the influence of methamphetamine, even though she was “completely innocent,” the complaint states.
On a dashcam video, sheriff’s officers can be heard saying “the house is clean, there is no meth in the house” and “we’re gonna spike that, and we’re gonna spike him,” as well as “I got the meth in the [expletive deleted] car,” the suit says. Photos taken within the home show no drugs where the meth supposedly was found, it contends.
Alleging false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligent hiring and conspiracy, among other causes of action, she is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, Courthouse News reports.
A Justia page provides docket information about the case, which was filed last week in federal court in San Jose.
ABAJournal.com: “Rare ‘Perry Mason’ moment in court wins dismissal for defendant, desk duty for 5 police officers”
ABAJournal.com: “Man whose case was dismissed after ‘Perry Mason’ moment in court sues 5 police officers over arrest”