Florida cop accused of false drugs arrests held on $1 million bond

One of the reasons most law enforcement organizations favor drug prohibition is that it gives them a reason to arrest (or in some cases, shake down) people who pose no danger to society. Busting someone for drug possession is such an easy way to nail a person that some cops even plant drugs on people.

Yesterday a Florida judge set a former Florida deputy's bond at $1 million. Steven O'Leary is being held on charges of "official misconduct, making false statements, tampering with evidence, false imprisonment, petit theft, and battery."

From CNN:

Over the 11 months he was working as a deputy in Martin County, O'Leary made 86 drug arrests, according to a 47-page investigative report. Some of those, the report said, were people being wrongly arrested and held in jail for several days.

In January, a crime lab found that substances from three cases that O'Leary submitted as evidence were not drugs. According to the report, investigators found a "broken figurine" that appeared to be a religious statue in the trunk of a sheriff's office vehicle O'Leary had used. The figurine was made from a similar substance to that which O'Leary had identified as crack cocaine in two cases, according to the report. A lab test found that the "statue was comprised of gypsum," the report said.

From WPTV:

In January, investigators said O'Leary claimed to find illegal drugs during traffic stops when he was employed as a deputy with the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

While on duty, O'Leary made three narcotics-related arrests in which the substances involved were not actually narcotics.

A Regional Crime Lab determined one of the substances was a powder commonly used to treat headaches, and another was a sand-based material containing no narcotics.

Image: WPTV