An attorney for the Brooklyn, New York, district attorney wants to dismiss 90 cases of arrests from a former New York Police Department detective accused of creating a number of suspects.
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Wednesday that he would ask the court to drop and overturn 27 convictions and 63 unfair cases based on the work of former NYPD investigator Joseph Franco.
Franco was indicted by a New York County magistrate in April 2019 on a number of charges, including misconduct and 16 counts of first count of fraud. Three months later, he was charged with ten counts of lying.
The charges stem from four incidents in which they are accused of “building masses of people through drug trafficking.”
He was fired by the NYPD in May, and is currently awaiting trial.
Gonzalez said the review of his office’s Conviction Review Unit “did not reveal misconduct,” but “lost confidence” in cases that would not have been prosecuted without Franco.
“By knowing and repeating the fencing of innocent people undermines the credibility of any police officer and proves that there is something illegal in such cases is unusual,” he said in a statement. “After the chief judge reviewed the evidence and prosecuted former Detective Franco, I no longer trust him.”
“His cases in Brooklyn are more than ten years old, which has reduced our ability to re-examine them, but I will not be able to stand up for the beliefs that rely on his testimony.
The most common conviction was the sale of a controlled substance in third or fifth grade, the district attorney said. The offenders were sentenced to between six months and a year in prison, the longest sentence of three years in prison.
The misdemeanor charges were mainly for possession of drugs in grade 7, according to a statement. Those convicted were sentenced to sentences from the time they spent up to 90 days in jail.
All of these charges stemmed from arrests between 2004 and 2011, with all but one of the sentences received by the accused pleading guilty.
Franco’s lawyers and the court have already been notified of the dismissal