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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by wes Location: corbin on Feb 13, 2008 at 09:36 AM
    good luck! UNITE is just a bunch of punks on a power trip! how do they explain that tape being blank?! hope u get a good settlement for the principle of the whole ordeal!
  • by denny Location: lagrange on Feb 11, 2008 at 06:59 AM
    Good luck josh, I hope you break unite and take what little money they have, I sincerley hope you get karen's house and car, and garnish her wages for the rest of her life, take them for every-thing they got. Good Luck My friend
  • by Keeping Quite Location: somerset on Feb 9, 2008 at 04:54 AM
    remember the rodney adams story he stated in public court records "there wasn't a cop in town who didn't know what he was doing, or judge either. we're still waiting to see if those tapes with the judges are real. people in this town won't speak out because their afraid not only for theirselves, but for their childrens safty as well. I say sue the hell out of them.
  • by G Location: floyd on Feb 9, 2008 at 03:47 AM
    unite is doing more wrong then the crimals they are reckless.barry must work for them.i holp iam on the jury.go josh.
  • by Wow Location: RIchmond on Feb 8, 2008 at 01:34 PM
    Lol did they ever get the funding from teh coal settlement shifted to this bang of modern thugs? If so guess where its going now. Great job on proving war on your own citizens claims innocent careers and lives.
  • by Jesse Location: Lexington on Feb 8, 2008 at 11:50 AM
    It seems to me they got the wrong person and now they are covering there a**. The tapes don't just erase there selfs. It seems the followed the wrong lead and now have to cover it. This man should have a civil case due to the loss of job and other problems this has costed him
  • by sondra Location: oneida on Feb 8, 2008 at 10:02 AM
    i think unite should have been sued a long time ago. they take these people who draw a check, and does not really know what rights they have and literally destroy them. they pick on the poor helpless ones that way they know they will have a conviction. unite was suppose to be there to help people in the community, if you had a drug problem they were suppose to be there for you, not them come in and try to convict someone of something, then get them to work for them to get some other poor persons check and destroy their family. i support this lawsuit 110%.
  • by Lynn Location: Manchester on Feb 8, 2008 at 09:10 AM
    My problem with UNITE is that they arrest the small time seller(addict)who usually has to sell to support his habit, but the big boss supplying the drugs get off free and clear. They need to find the suppliers not the middle man, but they don't seem interested in finding them.
  • by Me Location: Kentucky on Feb 8, 2008 at 08:56 AM
    This is not the first time I've heard these same accusations against UNITE (far from it). Even the incident of the blank tapes - he's not the first victim of that tactic either. I think UNITE could have done some wonderful things for Kentucky (and they have done SOME great things), but they go way too far sometimes. Tearing down drywall on entire walls to get to insides, tearing down ceilings to get to attics, throwing things against floors and walls, causing messes and breaking valuables - that's just too much! After they have the person(s) arrested, why would they need to do that much damage to find evidence? Also, why isn't UNITE using more funding to TREAT the addicts? If they're guilty, then they should pay, but they need to make more certain they are guilty first, and they need to make sure every addict has a chance for treatment! Many churches would LOVE to get involved and help, but won't because of UNITE's lack of REAL compassion and concern they try to pretend they have.
  • by Me Location: Pike County on Feb 8, 2008 at 06:53 AM
    Yeal, and they need to put in the PIKE COUNTY NEWS EXPRESS.
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