Archive for Friday, March 28, 2003

Dismissed cases now number 27

March 28, 2003


There's more good news for people charged with drug crimes in Douglas County.

Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney's office has dismissed at least three more cases linked to fired police officer Stuart "Mike" Peck. That brings the total of dismissed cases to at least 27 since a judge ruled in late January that Peck lied to obtain a search warrant in a drug case.

Police Chief Ron Olin fired Peck last month and the city has since upheld the decision, but Peck maintains he did nothing wrong in his pursuit of the city's drug users and dealers.

He said in a recent interview that he was saddened by what had happened in the aftermath of his firing.

"You've taken someone out who's proactive about crime and the rampant use of drugs -- both of which are everywhere," he said.

The most recent cases to come to light:

  • Charges of felony cocaine possession and possession of drug paraphernalia were dropped March 5 against Carnell Atkins, 34, Lawrence.

Peck arrested Atkins Nov. 6 inside an apartment in the 100 block of Pine Haven Court, but Atkins' attorney later argued the arrest was unconstitutional.

According to court records, Peck had learned from a confidential informant that the apartment was a drug haven. He also learned from police dispatchers that Atkins had outstanding misdemeanor warrants, so he knocked on the door and told a woman who answered that police were coming in.

He later found Atkins hiding under a mattress with drugs nearby. Atkins' attorney, Jessica R. Kunen, moved to suppress evidence from the search, claiming Peck's entry into the apartment violated constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

Also, Kunen moved to suppress Atkins' statements after his arrest. Kunen claimed Peck told her client on the way to the Douglas County Jail that anything he said would be "off the record."

Court records indicate the charges were dismissed before Judge Paula Martin ruled on the motions to suppress.

  • On March 21, the state dropped misdemeanor drug charges against 20-year-old Logan A. Fayman.
  • On March 6, the state dropped misdemeanor drug charges against Olive D. Crooked Arm, 21.

Peck arrested both defendants last April in unrelated incidents. Each had been charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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