Prosecutors Drop 16 Drug Cases Due To Deputy's Conduct
PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) - Oakland County prosecutors have dropped 16 drug cases after an investigation found that a deputy on the county's narcotics enforcement team falsified a search warrant and lied under oath.
Prosecutor Jessica Cooper says Marc Ferguson opened a shipping container at YRC Freight in Pontiac without a search warrant in June 2011 and discovered 78 pounds of marijuana, valued at $300,000. Ferguson, 47, allegedly resealed the container and then sought a search warrant, asking for permission to open the container. A California man was then arrested when he tried to claim the container.
While prosecutors were preparing their case against the California man, a tip came in that accused Ferguson of opening the container before legally obtaining a warrant to do so.
When the case went to court, Cooper said Ferguson denied on the witness stand that he opened the container without a warrant.
Drug trafficking charges were dropped in the case. Prosecutors then went through 100 pending drug cases involving Ferguson and dismissed 15 cases in which he was central to the investigation.
"Once we were made aware, we started an internal investigation, and he was removed from the narcotics team," Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe told the Detroit Free Press. "After an eight-week investigation, including interviewing the other officers in the crew, we concluded that he needed to be terminated and could no longer wear a badge."
Ferguson, who spent 13 years in narcotics enforcement, was fired from the Sheriff's Office in December and has since filed a grievance to get his job back. No criminal charges have been brought against him.
Ferguson could not be reached for comment.
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