Crime: Greenville deputy in destroyed evidence case won't face further probes - - PressFrom - US
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CrimeGreenville deputy in destroyed evidence case won't face further probes

19:41  11 july  2019
19:41  11 july  2019 Source:   greenvilleonline.com

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A Greenville County deputy discarded evidence in a drug case and has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to court records obtained by The Greenville News. Wesley Arflin was the arresting officer in the drug-trafficking case of a Greenville man who was preparing to go to trial.

Spoliation of evidence is the intentional, reckless, or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, fabricating, or destroying of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding.

Greenville deputy in destroyed evidence case won't face further probes© Provided/Greenville County Sheriff's Office Wes Arflin

Law enforcement has no plans to review any of Deputy Wes Arflin's prior arrests in light of him being caught on surveillance video destroying evidence in a recent drug trafficking case.

A community activist says the county's lack of attention toward the case shows a disregard for the proper use of the criminal justice system.

Arflin was suspended for eight hours, demoted and reassigned to another unit in light of him being found to have tossed evidence into a trash can.

The then-master deputy made a drug arrest in June 2018 but authorities later found that evidence was missing while preparing for trial. The discovery led to the Sheriff's Office finding Arflin on surveillance video putting into a trash can a wallet that may have contained the identity card of a person other than the man arrested.

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Tampering with evidence , or evidence tampering, is an act in which a person alters, conceals, falsifies, or destroys evidence with the intent to interfere with an investigation (usually) by a law-enforcement, governmental, or regulatory authority. It is a criminal offense in many jurisdictions.

The case has prompted the two countries to expel diplomats in a tit-for-tat dispute. Speaking to a lecture hall of diplomats, Vladimir Yermakov, deputy “Russia has offered us so far no explanation of how this agent came to be used in the United Kingdom and no explanation as to why Russia has an

Larry Crane, the defense attorney for Danny Charles Mullinax, said that such evidence was exculpatory and could have showed that the drugs and paraphernalia found near Mullinax during a search did not belong to him.

An internal investigation was conducted in April and the allegation was sustained on April 29, documents show.

Arflin did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Still, authorities said they do not plan to review Arflin's other arrests to see if there are other instances of evidence tampering.

"We don’t have any reason to believe there are any other cases that have been affected by any sort of policy violations pertaining to evidence," said Lt. Ryan Flood, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown also previously told The Greenville News that the Sheriff's Office did not plan to review all of Arflin's prior cases but rather would see if any other complaints in his personnel file revealed a pattern.

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After all, the Bureau gave most of the suspects immunity and even destroyed much of the evidence in the original case . When news broke about the results At the very least, the long list of immunity “side agreements” and the physically destroyed evidence should make further investigations harder, not

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Arflin's personnel file, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, revealed one additional misconduct complaint against him. It involved him pushing a handcuffed inmate while in the Greenville County jail. The man in handcuffs fell on the floor and had to receive treatment for an injury, the documents show. That complaint was also sustained.

The Greenville News exclusively reported on the destroyed evidence case based on a tip and found court records that documented the Sheriff's Office's and Solicitor's Office's knowledge that evidence had been destroyed. Mullinax's case was dismissed as a result.

Following the story, community activist Bruce Wilson sent a letter to the Solicitor's Office and Public Defender's office calling on authorities to review all of Arflin's arrests to determine if he tampered with evidence in other cases.

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Evidence : This covers every kind of physical object that might be produced in any kind of legal trial, proceeding, or investigation. It also includes digital images and video recordings. Awareness of a Potential or Pending Investigation: You may think that a person committing a crime must know that

Exactly what evidence is material and exculpatory depends upon the circumstances of the case . Courts won ’ t do anything about an alleged violation unless the defendant proves that the evidence in question was material and potentially exculpatory and that the government acted in bad faith.

"For those that say it doesn’t happen in Greenville, why wasn’t he fired? If he will destroy evidence he will also plant evidence; and every case with his name on it should be re-open," Wilson told The Greenville News.

Wilson said Arflin's actions of destroying evidence shows that he may have had a pattern of doing this but simply did not get caught on other occasions. In his letter, Wilson called for all of Arflin's calls for service and cases to be reopened.

"This adversely puts the burden of truth, honesty and integrity on the Greenville County Sheriff's, Solicitor's and Public Defenders Office," the letter reads. "This demands an immediate act of attention from all internal county officers to ensure proper justice and proper use of the criminal justice system."

Solicitor Walt Wilkins responded to questions via email and explained why Mullinax's case was dismissed.

"We review every case independently to ensure compliance with the Rules of Discovery.  As in State v Mullinax, we provided video obtained from property and evidence security cameras to defense counsel," Wilkins said. "Due to prosecutorial issues presented as a result of the disposal of a piece of evidence, we dismissed the charges relating to this incident. Mr. Mullinax pled guilty to other drug charges and received a 8 1/2 year sentence."

Wilson said he plans to keep pressure on the county agencies and plans to track down Arflin's prior cases by reaching out to past defendants.

"I'm going to reach out to anyone who has had a case involving him and I'm going to see if we can file a post conviction relief if they've been convicted," Wilson said.

Daniel J. Gross covers public safety and breaking news for The Greenville News. Reach him at dgross@greenvillenews.com or on Twitter @danieljgross.

This article originally appeared on The Greenville News: Greenville deputy in destroyed evidence case won't face further probes

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