- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The first government witnesses could testify at the Philadelphia trial of former drug officers accused of stealing millions in cash and street drugs from suspects.

Six ex-members of an undercover narcotics squad are on trial. One has pleaded guilty after being caught in an FBI sting and is expected to be a pivotal witness.

Defense lawyers will first finish opening statements. They have argued that prosecutors are using unreliable testimony from 19 drug dealers and the disgraced officer.

Hundreds of criminal cases based on the Philadelphia drug unit’s work have been thrown out, and about 100 civil rights lawsuits are on hold amid the racketeering trial.

And officer-turned-informant Jeffrey Walker awaits sentencing after admitting he planted evidence and stole $15,000 from a suspect.

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