By Steve Elliott
A Caddo County, Oklahoma judge last year dismissed 30 drug cases in a single day because employees of a private company helped arrest the defendants. Now, attorneys say more cases in other counties are likely tainted due to their involvement.
Employees of a company called Desert Snow were helping make drug busts until a judge put a stop to the practice, reports Abby Broyles at KFOR News Channel 4.
A couple of years ago, District Attorney Jason Hicks made the monumentally bone-headed move of hiring Desert Snow employees to help train officers make drug stops along I-40, well known among drug enforcement types as a "drug corridor."
But Desert Snow employees were doing more than just training. They were doing actual police work, including arresting people, on the stops, and making money while doing it.
"[They] seized him, seized some containers of marijuana coming in from Colorado, seized $13,000 in cash, seized his car," said attorney Irven Box of one of those defendants.
Desert Snow employees aren't CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) certified -- but police in Oklahoma are required to be.
DA Hicks broke ties with the company after a ruckus occurred over the arrests. Desert Snow, seemingly something of a fly by night operation, then moved out of its Guthrie, Oklahoma office building.