Complete coverage of the TCU drug bust

TCU Cases Still Not Filed in Court

Defense attorney who specializes in drug cases says mistaken warrant could raise questions in all cases

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mug shots for 18 people arrested in a drug bust on and near the campus of Texas Christian University.

    As the Texas Christian University football team began spring practice Friday, the drug arrests that separated four players from the team had still not resulted in formal court charges.

    Twenty people were arrested during a Feb. 15 sting, including 17 people accused of selling drugs to an undercover officer. Three people were arrested on suspicion of drug possession during the raid.

    Questions Still Surround TCU Drug Case

    [DFW] Questions Still Surround TCU Drug Case
    Fort Worth Police still won't talk about the drug bust at Texas Christian University, but attorneys question the merit of the entire case after one former student was incorrectly identified in warrants released to the media. (Published Monday, Feb 27, 2012)

    Another person who was sought during the raid but was not taken into custody turned himself in to police two days later.

    Fort Worth police released an arrest warrant that day for the wrong man, even though an officer had sworn all the information was correct. The warrant included a photograph of the wrong man.

    TCU Drug Bust Inconsistencies

    [DFW] TCU Drug Bust Inconsistencies
    Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy talks with Nonstop Nightly about the problems that could arise from the TCU drug bust on February 15th. (Published Monday, Feb 27, 2012)

    He was not arrested.

    David Sloan, a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney who specializes in defending drug suspects, said the mistake brings the officer’s credibility into question on all the warrants he handled.

    "It's not to say the state can't take these cases to trial," he said. "But I think any attorney worth their salt is going to want to visit with this officer about the fact that he's already misidentified one person in this investigation."

    Sloane said police should have made the officer select all of the suspects from photo lineups as Fort Worth narcotics officers have done in other cases.

    Warrants in the TCU cases indicate that the undercover officers only selected individual pictures, in most cases, from driver's license records.

    "A photo lineup should have been done on each and every one of these situations, where a person is alleged to have sold an undercover officer drugs and then walked away from the scene and there's no other identifying information for that," Sloan said.

    Last week, Fort Worth police spokesman Sgt. Pedro Criado said the warrant would be corrected and reissued.

    On Friday, he declined to comment on the case.

    Tarrant County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Melody McDonald said the cases are still working their way through system and that no decisions have been made on filing them.

    More: See NBC 5's Complete Coverage of TCU Drug Arrests