(11/07/2001)
A Chloe, Calhoun woman has requested Calhoun prosecutor Tony Morgan to launch an investigation into criminal wrongdoing by the State Police. Kelly Mace, 33, was arrested in 2000 for being involved in a "million dollar" drug deal, but the case was dropped in August, an apparent lack of evidence.

The drug evidence was discovered to be garden sulfur from her garage. "The State Police have declined to return the garden sulfur to me," she said.

State Trooper Doug Starcher and other officers claimed they confiscated an illegal substance (methamphetamine) in her home. State Police declined to reveal the name of an officer who they said was party to a field test on the substance. Starcher went before a Calhoun Grand Jury based on that evidence, and continued to testify before Circuit Court that such a substance was processed by the State Police lab.

State Police obtained a search warrant for what they contended was a million dollar drug deal. They alleged 270 stolen guns were on the property. Several guns, about 40, owned by the family were discovered. "Nothing on the search warrant proved to be true related to my situation," said Mace. Much of the State Police's case was from an informant who was incarcerated.

Mace was charged with possession with intent to deliver. "There was not a shred of evidence," she said. "Trooper Starcher lied and then continued to commit perjury. Most of us would be held accountable for that."

Prosecutor Morgan said "I received a complaint and will make a decision in the next few days," as to whether to proceed, which could result in his asking for an outside prosecutor.

Sgt. John Bonazzo, the detachment commander in charge of the case, reportedly failed to appear in court after being issued a summons on three occasions.

Mace told Prosecutor Morgan "I respectfully request justice in this matter." She said she does not understand why the police would do this to her. She said her business at Stinson has been ruined and friends have shied away. "It has been a long and humiliating ordeal for me and my boys."

A civil case against Trooper Starcher and the State Police is being filed by Spencer attorney Oscar Hines on behalf of Mace.

See also Not A Shred Of Evidence


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