North Sea Man Who Had Drug Conviction Overturned Sues DA’s Office

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A convicted drug dealer is suing Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s office in federal court, accusing prosecutors of concealing the fact that one of the Southampton Town Police officers who arrested him was addicted to prescription drugs at the time.

Kwame Opoku, 33, of North Sea was arrested in 2011, along with two other men, following a drug raid at a North Sea house by undercover officers. One of those officers, Eric Sickles, was later revealed to have been addicted to painkillers at the time, a fact that at least one of his superior officers is believed to have been aware of, though Mr. Sickles was still allowed to continue working.

In May 2012, the district attorney’s office dropped the charges filed against Mr. Opoku following a wide-ranging investigation that focused on more than 100 cases brought to prosecutors by members of the Town Police Department’s now defunct undercover drug task force. Along with Mr. Opoku, six other men had the charges against them dropped, and two were released from prison as a result of the DA’s scouring of the investigation records.

Mr. Opoku’s lawsuit states that he is seeking “damages” and the reimbursement of attorney fees, though it does not offer a specific amount in either instance.

He had already filed a lawsuit against Southampton Town last year, alleging that his civil rights were violated by the officers who arrested him. Even though his conviction was overturned, Mr. Opoku remained in jail for a separate drug-related conviction. He was released from prison in August.

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