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Prosecutors Monday drastically reduced the level of drug charges lodged against three persons who claim a special Buffalo police detail earmarked them for retaliation.

Luis A. Medina, 26; Idelia Ocasio, 37, and Manuel Ramos, 30, had been charged by the Maryland Detail with felony-level cocaine trafficking. Prosecutors dropped the charges to misdemeanors.

The three were arrested about 15 minutes after they were acquitted Nov. 20 of earlier charges lodged by the detail. City Judge Barbara Howe ordered a hearing Jan. 23 and allowed the three to remain free without bail.

The action cuts the potential penalty from 25 years in prison to a jail term of up to a year.

Margaret Olszewski Szczur, chief of the district attorney's City Court Bureau, said the charges were reduced because testing of nine packets of suspected cocaine found in a van in a Hudson Street parking lot turned out to contain less than an eighth ounce of cocaine.

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