Dozens of Dallas police officers will testify in the case of former Detective Mark Delapaz, who faces federal charges of lying about innocent people arrested on bogus drug charges.
The Dallas Morning News says those expected to testify in the trial beginning Nov. 10 include detectives who participated in the drug busts and who have refused to cooperate with attorneys suing Delapaz and the city on behalf of those falsely arrested. Defense attorney Paul Coggins has vowed to mount a broad defense questioning police pepartment procedures and showing that commanders were aware of his client’s work.
Those arrested were charged with possessing sometimes record-breaking amounts of cocaine or methamphetamine. They sat in jail in lieu of high bail until lab tests months later revealed that the white powdery substances were composed almost entirely of gypsum, the primary ingredient in Sheetrock or pool chalk.
The federal trial focuses on four cases; tests on 25 large drug seizures made by Delapaz in 2001 found the purported drugs to be phony. Prosecutors threw out more than 80 other drug cases because of their links to the narcotics officers or the confidential informants.