Wednesday, May 18, 2016

DA’s Office Never Okd APD’s Reverse Sting Affidavit

Brandenburg Says Her Office Discourages Reverse Sting Operations

False affidavit puts drug arrests in jeopardy

BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said Wednesday that her office never signed off on, or consulted with the Albuquerque Police Department on a court-approved affidavit that gives APD permission to sell heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamines to people and then arrest them on drug charges. An APD detective apparently presented the affidavit to a state District Court judge on Feb. 23. The affidavit said it was being presented in conjunction with the DA's Office. “Comes now the State of New Mexico, through its Assistant District Attorney and Affiant Detective Marc Clingenpeel,” the affidavit said. But the document did not contain the name or initials of any ADA, and Brandenburg told ABQ Free Press that her office was not involved in its preparation. “We have confirmed that our office did not sign off on, or consult the police department on the affidavit and order of February 25th,” Brandenburg said. The affidavit was filed in the court Clerk's Office on Feb. 25. Brandenburg added that drug cases being prosecuted under the reverse sting operation authorized by the affidavit could now be challenged because the affidavit isn't true. “It certainly gives lie for challenge that the affidavit is untrue, that it has information that is inaccurate, and therefore, isn't valid.” Brandenburg said. The affidavit added that police would use up to eight ounces each of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and meth as part of the reverse sting operation. “The Albuquerque Police Department's Narcotics Unit will use the heroin, methamphetamines, crack cocaine and/or cocaine, obtained from the Albuquerque Police Department's Evidence Unit to sell to individuals who are seeking to purchase drugs within the City of Albuquerque,” the affidavit said. The affidavit and order also gave APD permission to manufacture crack cocaine.   Brandenburg said that here office discourages reverse sting operations because of the manpower shortage at APD.  

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