A Virginia court could toss out more than 400 convictions after the testimony of a crooked cop was deemed unreliable. According to The Washington Post, the currently unemployed Jonathan Freitag is under investigation for pulling people over in Fairfax County for made-up, racist reasons. The probe began in July 2019 and Freitag resigned the following May.
After his departure, he was able secure a job with the Brevard County’ Sheriff’s Office. Frietag gave Brevard a document that claimed he “resigned from the position in good standing, your employment was entirely favorable and you are eligible for re-hire.”
On April 1, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey fired Freitag after finding out about his misconduct allegations when The Washington Post asked about his employment status. He had worked for seven months before his termination.
Four days later, he blasted Fairfax County for providing misleading information that led to Freitag’s hiring.
“To say the least, it is outrageous that an individual such as Mr. Freitag, with a history of alleged misconduct at the Fairfax County Police Department, had become a member of our agency and placed in a position that may have negatively impacted our citizens due to your agency’s misrepresentations,” Ivey wrote in a letter addressed to David M. Rohrer, interim police chief of Fairfax County.
Freitag was with Fairfax for three years before his resignation. While he was there, he participated in 932 cases and 400 of them resulted in convictions. Seven of them were felonies and only one defendant, Elon Wilson, is incarcerated.
On April 3, 2018, Frietag pulled Wilson over as the latter left a recording studio with an unidentified minor. The officer claimed he stopped the car because he smelled marijuana. Upon searching the vehicle, Freitag found more than 400 oxycodone pills, a handgun and some weed. The kid eventually confessed to owning the contraband but charges against him were dropped.
Wilson was hit several charges including with drug and weapon possession, drug dealing, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and failure to maintain control of vehicle. The former D.C. firefighter took a plea deal and was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison.
On Friday, a judge announced Wilson’s conviction could be overturned, a decision supported by the prosecution, per The Richmond Times-Dispatch. Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said 400 other convictions, mostly minor traffic violations and misdemeanors, could be thrown out due to Frietag’s corruption.