TUPELO – A man whose federal conviction was tossed because his constitutional rights were violated in a drug case is suing Tupelo, Lee County and others for damages.
Attorneys for Kermit Omar Rogers claim he is owed financial damages after he was arrested by officers whose search warrant did not give them permission onto his property or into his vehicle.
Earlier this week, Rogers sued the city of Tupelo, Lee County, Sheriff Jim Johnson, North Mississippi Narcotics Unit, Sheriff’s officer Samuel T. Warren and former Tupelo narcotics unit officer Paul Howell.
None of the lawsuit defendants has yet responded because the action was filed so recently.
Rogers spent 1,375 days in jail before his 2010 conviction was overturned in early 2013. Some $27,000 was seized from him and his property auctioned without giving him a chance to redeem it, he claims.
After Rogers appealed his conviction on possession of more than 50 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new hearing before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills in Oxford.
Mills determined that authorities violated Rogers’ constitutional rights to due process and protections against illegal searches and seizures, false imprisonment and conspiracy to interfere.
Rogers sued Tupelo and Lee County claiming law enforcement agencies failed to properly train and/or supervise their officers involved in his search and arrest.
He also claims that Warren and Howell violated state laws against trespass, defamation, outrage and infliction of emotional distress.
His lawsuit seeks actual damages, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as court costs and attorneys fees.