A former Texas undercover narcotics agent whose testimony led to drug convictions of 38 people that were later overturned has been indicted on perjury charges. The New York Times says the charges against Thomas Coleman were the latest development in a the town of Tulia, almost one tenth of whose African-American population was arrested on drug charges in 1999. The indictment accuses Coleman, 43, of lying under oath at least three times at a hearing last month.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys moved three weeks ago to overturn all the convictions that resulted from his investigation. But thirteen of those arrested are still in prison; Texas’s highest court for criminal appeals must decide whether to throw out the convictions. Roderique S. Hobson Jr. of Lubbock, the special prosecutor who obtained the indictment, told the Times, “This basically undermines the confidence of the convictions in this sweep.”