Defendant takes plea deal in controversial Petersburg drug case

Defendant takes plea deal in controversial Petersburg drug case

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - The defendant in a controversial Petersburg drug raid, that is surrounded in allegations of police misconduct, will be getting out of jail.

Jeffery Fisher agreed to the deal on Thursday in front of a special judge and prosecutor who were brought in to handle the case after three Petersburg judges stepped aside.

He was arrested in January after a raid on this home on Rome Street in Petersburg. He pleaded guilty on Thursday to a having a gun and possessing cocaine. His sentence far less than he originally faced.

"I think that the result today shows that the Commonwealth acknowledges there were some potential problems with their case and that's what led us to this resolution today," said his defense attorney Shaun Huband, who made several allegations against the police department in a motion to withdrawn Fisher's
original guilty plea in the case. His allegations include misconduct, a coerced confession and illegal activity during the drug raid.

The allegations are based largely on accusations from recently fired Petersburg Police officer Derrik Greer.

"When you open your mouth and speak the truth, then you're getting penalized and punished," Greer told NBC12 in an interview last month.

He says he was fired to tarnish his reputation. Greer alleges that the former Petersburg officer who took out the search warrant for Fisher's home is "dirty" and had the SWAT team purposely trash the house during the raid. He says the officers used a battering ram to break down the door, they busted out all the windows and destroyed electronic equipment.

"It was over the top. It was excessive," said Greer.

Special Prosecutor Robert Cerullo said the house was deemed uninhabitable because of sanitation problems and a rat infestation. He called the destruction of the home irrelevant. In a response to the defense's allegations, Cerullo called Greer's information "speculative, irrelevant and at worst flat out incorrect."

Cerullo declined to be interviewed on-camera, but said he was not brought in to investigate the police department only the allegations against Mr. Fisher. Huband stands behind all of the accusations against the department.

"I would not put in writing something that I didn't firmly believe I could  prove," said Huband.

He's also calling on the department to voluntarily ask for a third party, like State Police or the FBI, to come in and review the internal investigation.

"So that the public can be confident that every bit of evidence has been found," said Huband.

Fisher should be out of jail in the next few days after credit for time served.

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