Houston Co. Deputies on Leave After $1.5 Million Claim Filed

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DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - Three Houston County Sheriff's deputies are
on administrative leave after the father of a juvenile arrested last year in a drug probe filed a wrongful arrest claim against the county.

Sheriff Andy Hughes yesterday placed deputies Tracey McCord, Donovan Arias and Tony Turner on leave when the sheriff's department received the father's claim for $1.5 (m) million. Hughes says an internal probe is under way and declined further comment.

Dothan attorney Tommy Scarborough filed the claim on behalf of the father, who alleges wrongful arrest of his son, abuse of process and false imprisonment.

The case involves charges last June against three suspects for manufacturing methamphetamine.

The juvenile, whose father filed the claim against the county, admitted to possession of meth, but the charge later was dismissed. Tana Cristiano was charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance. Her charges were dismissed last month.

The third suspect, Kristopher Sean Sellers, faces trial February 12th on the drug charges.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)