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Apr 17, 2013 11:51 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Convictions Against Two More Men Arrested By Street Crime Unit Dismissed

Apr 17, 2013 12:09 PM

Another drug case conviction by the now-defunct Southampton Town Police Street Crime Unit has been quietly dismissed, pushing to six the number of known dismissals in a Suffolk County district attorney’s office probe involving more than 100 arrests involving an officer who was addicted to drugs.

Christopher Rionero, who was arrested by the Street Crime Unit, the town’s former drug investigations squad, in the summer of 2010, after police said at the time that he sold cocaine to an undercover officer in Hampton Bays, had his charges dismissed, his attorney, Laurence A. Silverman, confirmed on Wednesday morning. The attorney said he could not immediately provide further details.

Mr. Rionero had pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to one year in jail, according to a Newsday article published on Tuesday.

State Department of Corrections records show Mr. Rionero is in custody in an upstate prison on another charge.

Newsday also reported that another man arrested by the Street Crime Unit in May 2010, reportedly following a traffic stop, also had his charges dismissed. That dismissal could not be independently confirmed Wednesday morning. According to State Department of Corrections records, the second man is not currently incarcerated.

After announcing last May the unprecedented exoneration of two convicted felons and their release from prison because the credibility of a police officer had been called into question, the D.A.’s office has remained silent about the additional dropped cases. They have come to light either through lawsuits or the defendants’ attorneys.

The officer in question, Eric Sickles, a former Officer of the Year, returned to duty for the town in late March, following rehabilitation.

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