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Curtis Logan

Other North Carolina Exonerations
On January 2, 2020, police in Raleigh, North Carolina, arrested 33-year-old Curtis Logan after a confidential informant told Officer Omar Abdullah that Logan had earlier that day sold him 20 grams of heroin for $400.

During the arrest, Logan was driving in a car with his two children. Although the field test came back negative for heroin, Logan was charged with four counts of trafficking heroin and two counts of misdemeanor child abuse. He was placed in jail, with his bail set at $500,000.

On February 17, 2020, the City-County Bureau of Identification, which provides forensic services to the Raleigh Police Department and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, reported that the material said to be sold by Logan had tested negative as a controlled substance. Logan’s charges were amended to a single charge of possession with intent to sell or distribute a counterfeit controlled substance.

Logan pled guilty to the charge on April 15, 2020. He was released from jail and placed on supervised probation for 18 months.

The confidential informant, whose name is Dennis Williams, worked with Abdullah on controlled buys that led to the arrests of 12 men on heroin charges between November 2019 and May 2020. In many of those cases, there was no audio or video of the purported deal. In addition, testing at the city-county lab reported negative findings for controlled substances in all the cases. In most instances, what was said to be heroin was actually brown sugar.

A public defender working with clients other than Logan noticed a pattern of drug arrests from defendants who said they hadn’t sold or ever sold heroin. As more lab tests came back negative, the Wake County District Attorney’s Office began reviewing Abdullah’s files on these arrests. In some cases, there was no audio or video footage of Williams and the defendant conducting the transaction. In others, Williams shielded the camera, preventing a clear picture of what transpired.

Logan was the only defendant who had entered a plea. The other men had their charges dismissed.

On September 24, 2020, a judge in Wake County Superior Court granted Logan’s motion to vacate his conviction and then granted a separate motion to dismiss his charge.

Logan’s attorney said Logan never sold Williams real or counterfeit drugs. He said that Williams called Logan to pay him some money he owed. When they met, the attorney said, Williams gave Logan some money, but that was the extent of the transaction.

The police department stopped using Williams as an informant on May 22, 2020. He was indicted on five charges of obstruction of justice on August 24, 2021.

In September 2021, the City of Raleigh paid a total of $2 million to Logan and the other defendants who were arrested on drug charges for substances that later tested negative.

The police department fired Abdullah in October 2021.

On March 14, 2022, David Weaver was exonerated of a drug crime also tied to the work of Williams and Abdullah.

– Ken Otterbourg

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Posting Date: 6/29/2022
Last Updated: 6/29/2022
State:North Carolina
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2020
Age at the date of reported crime:33
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No