Marshall County Sheriff remains silent after dozens of drug cases dismissed for lack of evidence

Northeast Alabama
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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. -A judge dismisses dozens of drug cases which stemmed from a major drug roundup by the Marshall County Sheriff's Office that happened back in May. The mass dismissal is a result of a lack of sufficient video evidence, according to Marshall County District Attorney Everette Johnson.

The district attorney says he called for a review of the cases after he learned evidence used to obtain arrest warrants may not be accurate.

Johnson added in several cases, dealing with video evidence, a Marshall County investigator told a judge they had didn't exist at all. He told WHNT some of the cases did have video recorded by a confidential informant. However, those videos either didn't show the people involved and capture what was being said, or there was no recording of drug transactions at all.

"I don't know of any situation where you've had this many cases where you've had a problem that you've had this kind of problem with, and I've been doing it 41 years," said Mark McDaniel.

Huntsville defense attorney Mark McDaniel says the Marshall County District Attorney's Office should be commended for recommending dismissal. However, he isn't sure how or why 55 people were arrested on charges that couldn't stick.

"I would say because of the number of cases here, this case is going to be put under a microscope by somebody," explained McDaniel.

McDaniel says he believes the Marshall County Sheriff's Office will do an internal investigation to figure out what exactly went wrong.

"If there is a situation where a law enforcement officer goes before a judge and swears to something that is not true, then I would say there would be an investigation by the Alabama Attorney General's Office and probably the FBI on that," said McDaniel.

The FBI refused to confirm or deny if it was investigating the Marshall County Sheriff's Office. We also reached out to the Attorney General's Office to see if it was investigating the mass dismissal, but have not yet heard back.

"You've got a very unfortunate situation, difficult situation here. You have people out there whose lives have been affected," said McDaniel.

The District Attorney says this was an unusually high number of drug cases to be brought by the Marshall County Sheriff's Office. He adds that his office did its job the ensure everyone was treated fairly and the law was upheld.

WHNT has reached out to Sheriff Scott Walls numerous times. Walls did not return our calls. He was not in the office when we stopped by twice on Thursday.

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