Scotia business owner cleared of drug charges by surveillance vi - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Scotia business owner cleared of drug charges by surveillance video, informant missing


SCOTIA, N.Y. -- Supporters of a head-shop owner vindicated on drug charges are now demanding a second look at old cases involving a bad informant.

Donald Andrews, Jr.'s attorney, Kevin Luisbrand, showed the in-store surveillance video taken from the Dapp City Smoke Shop in Scotia last March that shows the informant planting drugs.

Luisbrand said it proves that an unnamed police informant set up Andrews by planting crack cocaine in his Scotia shop.

It was only after Andrews requested the Grand Jury watch the surveillance video that investigators realized they had a bad informant. The video shows the informant event takes a cell phone picture of the drugs, which was used as "proof" of a drug by detectives who were waiting outside.

The felony charges we're dropped, but Andrews supporters are now demanding that seven old cases involving the same informant get a second look.

"With an informant like this, he will lie and plant things and he can't really be trusted," said Robert Outlar, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The Schenectady County Sheriff Dominic Dagostino told NEWS10 the informant is facing perjury and possession charges, but they do not believe there were any other problems with this informant – except that he skipped town. Dagostino said his officers are now hunting him down.

The informant was used in seven cases, two of which led to convictions.

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