Man mistakenly prosecuted on drug charges wins $500,000 Associated Press Nov. 26, 2002 11:00 AM

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A Mesa man who was mistakenly prosecuted on drug charges has been awarded $500,000.

Aaron Shane Markley, 31, was arrested in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, attorney Larry Debus said.

A Maricopa County jury in a civil case found Elizabeth Horn, a Mesa Police Department detective, was grossly negligent.

The jury found there were flaws in the police department's methods, and it wasn't a mistake that could be easily dismissed, Markley said.

Mesa's attorney, Catherine Bowman, was unavailable for comment.

In court documents she argued that Markley had no claim because his arrest was based on a valid warrant.

Working undercover, Horn bought drugs in 1998. She identified Markley as the suspected seller from a driver's license photograph and submitted the case to prosecutors. A year later, a grand jury indicted Markley.

Horn admitted she never checked Markley's background information to see if his address matched the trailer home where the drug buy took place.

The case was dismissed in August 2000.

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