Operation UNITE Is Facing Lawsuit

Operation UNITE is facing a lawsuit from a man who says its officers wrongfully arrested him and had him falsely imprisoned for a crime he says he didn't commit.

Diesel mechanic Josh Roberts says he's never been in trouble with the law.

He says it terrified him when a UNITE officer showed up at the Somerset shop where he worked with a warrant for his arrest and took him to jail for a drug deal he says he had nothing to do with.

“There's no way to describe how that makes you feel. I mean, not only the incarceration, but also trying to go to church and face people,” Roberts said.

The lawsuit his lawyer filed Tuesday against UNITE says the agency claimed to have video and audio tapes of Roberts selling drugs, but that the tapes later turned out to be blank.

“Really, truly I wish their video footage hadn't malfunctioned. That would be our best evidence in this civil suit, would clearly prove my innocence,” Roberts said.

The charges against Roberts were dismissed just days after his arrest, but he says the incident cost him his job and humiliated his family.

“When the government wrongfully arrests somebody, and tries to prosecute somebody, they should stand up and say, 'I did wrong' and try to undo the damage they did,” Robert Norfleet, Roberts attorney said.

Court documents include a letter from UNITE's lawyer saying they have no reason to believe Roberts' rights were violated.

It says, "That charges were dropped against your client does not mean that there was no evidence upon which to indict him or that his arrest was wrongful."

The letter also says UNITE officers moved quickly to investigate Roberts' claim that he was innocent.

The lawsuit asks for an unspecified amount of money in damages.

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