FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
DALLAS POLICE OFFICER INDICTED ON MULTIPLE CHARGES
OF CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice today announced that a grand jury in the Northern District of Texas returned a six-count indictment charging Dallas Police Department Officer Mark Delapaz with civil rights violations and making false statements for his role in fabricating evidence against innocent persons in the Dallas area. An indictment is only a formal accusation of criminal conduct. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
The victims were arrested based on the defendant’s false representations, charged with various drug offenses and incarcerated. Many of the victims spent months in jail. Drug charges against the victims were later dismissed by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
The defendant was charged with five counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of making false statements to federal officials. The defendant faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.
The charges are related to an ongoing federal investigation of several former paid Dallas Police Department police informants who fabricated and planted counterfeit drugs on innocent persons in the Dallas area. The planted substances were later determined to be either crushed billiard chalk packaged to resemble powder cocaine or a chemical concoction packaged to resemble methamphetamine. Three of the former informants previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate civil rights and are cooperating in the federal investigation.
In announcing the indictment, Assistant Attorney General Boyd commended the FBI for spearheading the investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by Dallas Police Department Narcotics Division officers and their informants. Trial attorneys Brent Gray and Jeffrey Blumberg of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.