- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a $551 million lawsuit filed by a doctor who argued he was jailed for 14 months in Jackson County on false drug and witness tampering charges.

Jackson County was the only remaining defendant in the lawsuit filed by Dr. David Bruce Allen. The sheriff’s department and a local drug task force were earlier dismissed as defendants.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday described Allen’s suit as “utterly meritless.”

The lawsuit was related to a 2009 drug raid on a sprawling property in south Mississippi and the subsequent arrest of Allen, a well-known heart surgeon who had moved to Sacramento, California, to open a medical marijuana clinic.

A federal judge in Gulfport dismissed the lawsuit in January.

Allen was arrested in the weeks after the raid in Jackson County but he was eventually cleared of most charges and a jury couldn’t reach a verdict on others.

Allen argued in the 2012 lawsuit that the agents who conducted the raid burned some of Allen’s property in “bonfire fashion” and “acted like hooligans, yelling and screaming about how this was going to be their property, how this would be their vacations resort and shooting range, camp grounds, fishing place, scuba training facility” and played pool and ping pong on Allen’s tables.

The defendants denied any wrongdoing.

“The purportedly withheld material facts_alleged coercion of witnesses and an alleged police plot to ‘get’ Dr. Allen_are themselves wholly unsupported by evidence,” the 5th Circuit panel said Wednesday.

The task force raided Allen’s property in February 2009. He’d already moved to California, but still owned the land.

Authorities said they found hashish and a marijuana growing operation, but the lawsuit says no marijuana was found.

Allen’s sister and brother-in-law, who lived there at the time, were later arrested but charges were later dropped.


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