State drops drug charges against doctor

Published 4:35 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Prosecutors have dropped all charges against former heart surgeon, who in 2009 was accused of growing marijuana on his 50-acre property in Jackson County.

District Attorney Tony Lawrence said in a statement Tuesday that Circuit Robert Krebs signed the order to dismiss on Monday.

David Bruce Allen was charged in February 2009 after a raid on his north Escatawpa property, where Jackson County Narcotics Task Force officers said they found a “grow room,” marijuana, marijuana seeds and hashish.

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Allen went on trial in February accused of drug offenses and witness-tampering. Krebs declared a mistrial after jurors reported being deadlocked.

Lawrence said the first jury’s inability to reach a verdict at Allen’s trial “casts doubt on the sufficiency of the evidence in light of the fact that there is no new evidence at a re-trial of this matter.”

“The state of Mississippi has reviewed the transcript of the Feb. 7, 2011, trial and does not feel there would be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict … (Allen) …in light of the fact that there was no actual grown marijuana found on the property and no new evidence exists which could be offered at a subsequent trial. Further, the alleged transfer of a controlled substance was not done in the presence of law enforcement but was based solely on the testimony of a lay witness,” Lawrence said.

Allen’s attorney, Michael Crosby, said Tuesday he learned of the decision after he called to check on a hearing in the case, which had been set for Friday.

“This has been a long ordeal but we have a very just conclusion. I am thankful that they were willing to look at the evidence and review the transcript and make the right decision instead of putting Jackson County through another expensive trial,” Crosby said.

A judge signed an order in 2011 that allowed Allen to keep the 50 acres of land and other property seized in a marijuana investigation.

At that time, Allen, who left the Gulf Coast in 2008 to open a medical-marijuana practice in California, has been locked out of his property for nearly three years.

Allen’s sister and brother-in-law were living on the property when it was raided. They were arrested on related charges, but the charges were dismissed after they agreed to testify for the state.

Allen retired as a heart surgeon in 2007 after working about 15 years at a clinic in Pascagoula.