Puertas, who had a prior drug conviction in the 1980s, was arrested in December, 1997, after 100 police with drug sniffing dogs raided a family owned bowling alley. They found no drugs, but located $1.8 million in cash. Prosecutors moved to seize the cash, saying it was proceeds from drug dealing. They also seized the bowling alley and other assets, totaling $5 million. The case against Puertas rested on the testimony of a drug addict, recruited by police, to purchase drugs from Puertas. No purchases were ever observed, but a jury convicted him of dealing drugs and running a criminal enterprise.The conviction was overturned after an internal probe called into question the veracity of some of the investigating officers, but Puertas was sent to prison in April 2007. Prosecutors and police have also had to return the money to the Puertas family. See story here.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Governor Granholm has commuted the sentence of 81-year-old Joseph Puertas for reasons of health. He had served 15 months of a 14 to 40 year prison sentence. The Detroit Free Press reports: