Suit filed against Traverse Narcotics Team for making false statements to obtain arrest warrant.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – A federal lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court in Grand Rapids alleges that police officers from the Traverse Narcotics Team, Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police lied to a Grand Traverse County Judge in order to obtain an arrest warrant.
The suit, which names Kalkaska Deputy Regan Foerster, Randy Graham, Sheriff Patrick Whiteford, Kalkaska County, and the Traverse Narcotics Team, alleges that Deputy Foerster intentionally misled Judge Michael Stepka when Foerster sought an arrest warrant for a suspect in a drug investigation relating to a June 2017 case.
According to the complaint, Detective Foerster swore to the judge that he observed the plaintiff engage in a drug sale in the parking lot of a Family Video in Traverse City, Michigan. After further investigation, TNT detectives determined that it was not the plaintiff who was involved and that Deputy Foerster was unable to observe who was engaged in the transaction because of distance and lighting conditions.
The complaint alleges that after his arrest, the Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Grand Traverse County Jail for 23 days after Judge Stepka set a $100,000 bond on his case based on Deputy Foerster’s false representations.
The suit also alleges that Graham made, influenced, or encouraged the decision of Deputy Foerster to prosecute the plaintiff for a crime he didn’t commit and that Sheriff Whitefore and TNT failed to properly train and supervise Foerster and Graham.. The suit seeks monetary damages against TNT, Kalkaska County, and the law enforcement officers who wrongfully incarcerated an innocent man for 23 days.
A copy of the complaint can be viewed here: Complaint