Narcotics officers set up a drug surveillance over a two-hour period on a block in Germantown that concluded with the arrest of M.A. for Possession With Intent to Deliver and three separate gun charges.
Police testified that they watched M.A. the entire time and saw him engage in three drug transactions where buyers were stopped and found in possession of crack cocaine. They also claimed that they saw M.A. place a book bag on a porch, which was found to contain a loaded firearm. Police recovered a “stash” of crack cocaine in a car on the block they alleged that M.A. was in and out of, and when M.A. was arrested they found over $1,100 in his pockets, which they claimed was proceeds from drug dealing.
At trial, the defense presented an alibi that showed that M.A. had arrived on the block AFTER they had allegedly seen him engage in drug transactions, and provided proof that the money found on his person had been withdrawn from an ATM machine earlier in the day. The defense argued that the police did not have the ability to accurately observe what they claimed to have seen and stressed that M.A.’s arrest was a case of mistaken identity. M.A. was found not guilty of all Philadelphia drug charges.