Charges voided as judge rules search was illegal
A judge has dismissed criminal charges against a former federal agent after ruling that an illegal search by Amherst police officers led to his arrest in 2005.
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara said Amherst police illegally seized evidence that led to charges of possession of false documents, making a false statement and unlawful manufacturing of federal identification documents against Craig E. Sikut.
"The police had insufficient legal reason to enter the apartment where Craig was arrested," Sikut's attorney, federal public defender John A. Humann, said on Wednesday.
Sikut, 50, of Amherst, is a former investigator with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. He left government service in 1996.
Federal prosecutors said Amherst police went to Sikut's home to investigate a report of a disturbance in March 2005. Officers went inside the home, where they reported finding numerous fake federal ID cards and credentials.
Sikut denied any wrongdoing in the case. Humann noted that Arcara's decision about the evidence search was an affirmation of an earlier ruling by Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio.
Amherst Assistant Police Chief Timothy M. Green declined to comment Wednesday, as did Sikut.