January 18, 2022

Camden drug raid suspect faces trial > N.J. shooting delayed Rockland proceedings

ROCKLAND — David L. Clark is expected to be tried next month on drug charges stemming from a 1998 raid on his apartment in Camden.

Clark, who is charged with aggravated trafficking of a scheduled drug, aggravated furnishing of a scheduled drug and criminal forfeiture, was supposed to be tried in August.

But when he did not show at Knox County Superior Court as jury selection concluded, his attorney, Steven Peterson, began inquiring about his whereabouts.

Peterson learned that Clark had been shot in Camden, N.J., apparently during an argument with another man. Clark was hospitalized in serious condition after the incident. The trial was put off for the rest of the year on the recommendation of his physician.

Peterson said Wednesday that Clark is expected to be able to travel to Maine next month.

“The last medical report I saw said he couldn’t travel for the rest of 1999,” the attorney said. Peterson believes Clark will be healthy enough to travel next month.

Clark was arrested in the summer of 1998 in Camden after a controversial “no knock” raid of his apartment. Police said they had concluded that Clark was selling drugs, so they burst into his apartment with weapons drawn. Other teens were in the apartment and were treated roughly by police, some of their parents said later.

The incident triggered a review of the Camden Police Department and the formation of a task force that later recommended ways to improve relations between the department and the town’s youth.

Police justified requesting the “no knock” search warrant by the fact that Clark had been in prison for 20 months on charges of attempted murder, possession of firearms, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and simple assault in 1996. Police did not know until after the search that Clark had been acquitted of the charges and had spent the time jailed only because he could not raise the $1 million bail.

The drug charges Clark faces are considered “aggravated” because police say he was selling marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school and because police allege that one of his customers was under 18.

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