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Aug 7, 2013 12:03 PM by Eugene Daniels

Montezuma fires its only drug-recognition expert

CORTEZ, Colo. (AP) - Montezuma County has fired its only officer trained as a drug-recognition expert after misconduct complaints including arresting people without probably cause.

Sheriff Dennis Spruell told the Cortez Journal that Sgt. Darrin Harper was a "bad egg" and was dismissed Saturday (http://bit.ly/1cc0b3P ). Spruell said he launched an internal review of Harper's personnel file about six months ago.

District Attorney Will Furse announced last month that his office would no longer use Harper's testimony in criminal proceedings.

Misconduct allegations included unclear probable cause explanations in arrest reports. In a 2011 case, Harper allegedly broke the suspect's driver-side window and delivered palm heel strikes to the defendant's jaw to forcibly remove the citizen from a vehicle.

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