Carlos Montez Elder has been in prison over two years, on Robertson Unit, in Abilene, Texas, after being found guilty of "Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver." This is a case of a Dallas police officer framing an innocent, 33 year old, Black man for drug possession, sending him to prison for 50 years, effectively destroying his life. Elder is innocent of this crime and has a strong chance of reversal of the conviction but he needs to find an attorney to save himself from spending the rest of his life in prison.
On the afternoon of May 22, 2001, two Dallas police officers cruising in a patrol car, in the 1800 block of South Ervay, stopped four pedestrians for questioning. While one officer questioned the four, the other officer, George Morales, walked directly over to a stairway about 35 feet away and found some packages of drugs. There were several small plastic bags of crack cocaine and one large crack cookie. He then walked another 15 feet to an opening in a fence, went through the opening into a vacant lot and picked up an empty paper bag. He placed the cocaine in the bag and returned to the car.
After checking on the computer, the officer learned that one of the people detained, Carlos Montez Elder, had a prior record from 10 years before. He then charged Elder with Possession of a Controlled substance with Intent to Deliver. Elder was arrested and taken to jail but he was never read his Miranda rights. Elder had $ 596.74 in his possession which the arresting officer seized as evidence of the proceeds of the sale of narcotics. That officer made a false police report stating that he had seen Carlos conducting a hand to hand drug transaction with another man, Alex Bowman, who had also been stopped and questioned but who was not arrested or detained. If there had been a drug transaction underway the putative buyer would have been as guilty of a crime as the seller. A transaction of any kind requires two parties. But no one else was arrested or charged and no witnesses were asked to testify. Bowman and the other people who had been questioned were released.
During the trial, one of the officers stated that he had seen Elder holding a brown paper bag which he threw into the stairway 35 feet behind him. The other officer said he did not see any paper bag in Elder's possession or see him throw anything. No fingerprints of Elder's were found on the bag or its contents.
The money Elder had on him was the proceeds of his paychecks and he presented his paycheck stubs to prove that the money was not drug proceeds. On February 6, 2002, Elder filed a petition asking the court to refund the money that had been confiscated and used against him at the trial. On May 28th, 2002, the petition was granted and Elder received a refund of the money together with a letter from the Dallas Police Chief in an acknowledgment that they had no grounds to hold the money.
Before the police arrived, Carlos Elder had just parked his car and was walking across the street to report for work when the police stopped him. He was alone, he did not know any of the other people on the street and had not stopped to talk with any of them. The police officer claimed that Elder had been suspiciously clustered with several other people in what appeared to be a drug transaction and that is why they stopped to question them. One of the officers also claimed to have seen Carlos toss a paper bag into a stairway as they drove up, that he kept his eyes on where the bag landed, because he intended to charge Carlos with littering, and that was the bag of Cocaine he found.
From where Carlos was, it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to throw a paper bag over his left shoulder to a spot 35 feet away, behind him. Had he done that, it would have been very obvious, everyone there would have seen it. There were some 30 people on the street at that time but the police did not record the names of any potential witnesses and no witnesses were asked to testify to any drug transaction or to seeing the paper bag being thrown. Not even that officer's partner, Adam Conway, testified to seeing Carlos in possession of a bag or throwing a paper bag. There was no evidence to corroborate officer Morales' story.
Officer George Morales, knew that there were several loose packages of Cocaine in that stairway before ever coming upon the scene that afternoon. Having found four potential arrestees standing that far from the stairway, he knew that in order for someone to throw the drugs that far they must have been held together inside a bag, so he had to find a bag and put the drugs inside. He also did not know which of the four people who had been stopped to focus upon until he checked their names on his computer.
The entire story of the incident as reported by officer Morales is obviously implausible and unsupported by any valid evidence. This Dallas police officer, George Morales, set out to destroy a young man's life in order to add another arrest and conviction to his record. The Dallas Police department supports this kind of police officer. The chances of finding a witness willing to come forward to contradict a Dallas police officer are slim indeed. This police officer is a criminal and a threat to innocent society but he is protected by the corrupt, racist Texas Criminal Justice system.
Carlos Montez Elder would have a chance to overturn this wrongful conviction on appeal if he could afford to hire an attorney. If you can help an innocent man prove his innocence in court, please send a contribution to:
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