Raleigh police detective accused of using fake heroin in drug cases fired

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ByJoel Brown via WTVD logo
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
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The Raleigh Police Department said on Monday that Omar Abdullah was terminated on Oct. 28.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A Raleigh police detective who attorneys say planted fake heroin on Black men, resulting in their arrests, is out of a job.

The Raleigh Police Department said on Monday that Omar Abdullah was terminated on Oct. 28.

Back in September, attorneys for a group of men who said they were wrongfully arrested for heroin trafficking announced a $2 million settlement with the City of Raleigh as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit associated with Abdullah.

"I think for advocates, we've always wanted this," police reform advocate Kimberly Muktarian told ABC11 on Monday. "This is something we dreamt of. So for them, I still believe that -- this is not a reality that they commonly see."

Abdullah was paying a confidential informant who promised to tip-off officers to Raleigh heroin dealers. Instead, the district attorney said the informant returned with videos and audio recordings of drug buys with critical clips missing and a substance that lab tests revealed months later wasn't drugs at all.

The civil rights lawsuit said fake heroin was also planted by detective Abdullah with the knowledge of other officers.

The attorneys said wrongful prosecutions caused those who were arrested to spend roughly a combined 2.5 years in jail before the charges were dismissed.

Robin Mills' son, Marcus Van Irvin, was arrested by Abdullah for bogus heroin and initially put in jail on a $450,000 bond.

Mills is frustrated with the lack of transparent answers about how this happened and wants to know why more officers haven't been held accountable.

She said Abdullah's firing and the civil settlement aren't enough.

"They did what they needed to do from a civil perspective. But now we're talking about criminal," she said. "And there's no way the kidnapping of over a dozen black men is not criminal."

Abdullah was placed on leave from Raleigh Police Department last year but Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has declined to prosecute him.

As for where the case currently stands, in a statement to ABC11 on Monday she said, "The matter remains open with our office."