Trooper in Elite DUI Unit Had Secret to His Success

Maryland's John Sollon wrote tickets to drivers who didn't exist
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2020 8:42 AM CDT
Trooper Wrote Tickets to Drivers He Made Up

Maryland State Trooper John Sollon belonged to an elite DUI unit, and his stats showed why. In 2019 alone, he logged a record 50-plus arrests, reports the Baltimore Sun. But now Sollon's secret to success is out, and it's one that nearly landed him in prison. The 36-year-old was convicted of making at least six false DUI arrests. And that doesn't mean he made up bogus charges against drivers: It means he made up the drivers entirely. “None of the fictitious defendants appeared for their scheduled court dates because they did not exist,” the office of Attorney General Brian Frosh explains in a statement, per the Washington Post. Fellow troopers were the ones who got suspicious and turned him in.

In some of the cases, police officers wasted time attempting to track down Sollon's fictional people to serve them warrants. Sollon pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of perjury and misconduct in office. Technically, he received six-year sentences for each charge, but a judge suspended the prison time, fined him $3,000, and ordered him to perform community service. For now, Sollon is still a trooper. But now that the criminal case is resolved, a disciplinary review will begin. (This Arizona State University professor didn't exist, either.)

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