Nevada County prosecutors drop all remaining drug cases involving Deputy Mackey | TheUnion.com

Nevada County prosecutors drop all remaining drug cases involving Deputy Mackey

Nevada County prosecutors have dropped all remaining cases that stemmed from Deputy Jason Mackey's search warrants, a move that comes about two weeks after a judge said the officer wasn't false and misleading.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said he dismissed three cases involving seven people on Tuesday. All the cases involved Mackey and search warrants he'd written in marijuana cases.

"I did this in the interest of justice because I think everyone is ready to move forward," Walsh said in an email. "The law changed and these marijuana cases became low-level misdemeanors."

Defense attorney Heather Burke, who represents the defendants, said Walsh's decision shows county officials are forward thinking about cannabis. She called the dismissal of the cases a positive development.

"We're not looking back," Burke said. "We're not being bitter about it.

"It's over," she added moments later. "It's been dismissed."

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Accusations against search warrants penned by Mackey have lingered for years. One search warrant became a major issue in the June district attorney's race. Candidate Glenn Jennings alleged corruption in the District Attorney's Office. Jennings clashed with Walsh several times in the weeks before the June election in a hearing about Mackey's warrants.

District Attorney Cliff Newell won re-election by a narrow margin.

At issue in the search warrants were Mackey's statements that he saw marijuana and photographed it. Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert Tice-Raskin determined that pictures attached to a warrant showed no cannabis. He suppressed the evidence against two men facing drug charges, and in May called Mackey false and misleading.

"Each of them had very similar statements," Burke said of the search warrants against her clients. "'I saw marijuana. I took a picture.'"

Weeks ago the judge revised his ruling, saying Mackey instead made inexact and inaccurate representations.

"Our objective was to ensure Deputy Mackey was treated fairly and not unjustly branded as a liar for something that was a training issue," Walsh said. "From our perspective that has now been accomplished."

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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