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Man whose conviction was vacated amid Southampton police scandal is accused of shooting Flanders man

Police investigate the scene of a shooting on

Police investigate the scene of a shooting on McKinley Street in Flanders Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 15, 2014. Police said the victim, identified only as a 36-year-old man, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital by Suffolk County police helicopter -- and that he was in critical condition after surgery. Credit: James Carbone

One of the seven men whose drug convictions were vacated amid a probe of the Southampton Town Police Department in 2012 and 2013 is facing new charges in a shooting that critically wounded a Flanders man on Wednesday.

Kwame Opoku, 32, of Mastic Beach is accused of shooting Marcus Johnson, 36, as Johnson stood with several bystanders outside his home on McKinley Street about 3 p.m., according to court filings.

Emmanuel Coleman, 34, of Riverhead, who police said they found near the scene in a car with Opoku, was also arrested on charges of assault and violating parole.

Opoku "was involved in an altercation earlier in the day" with Johnson, said Southampton Town Police Sgt. Susan Ralph. Opoku's charges included assault, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

Opoku and Coleman pleaded not guilty during an arraignment at Southampton Town Justice Court Thursday and were remanded without bail to Suffolk County jail, police said.

Johnson was rushed by helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he remained in critical condition after undergoing surgery Wednesday. He was shot in the abdomen and suffered internal injuries, according to court filings.

Opoku was one of seven men whose convictions were vacated at Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota's request after revelations that a police officer in Southampton's now-disbanded Street Crimes Unit was addicted to prescription drugs in 2010 and 2011.

Opoku had been arrested by the Street Crimes Unit during a 2011 police raid of an alleged crack house in Southampton.

A judge vacated his conviction in 2012, but he continued serving time for unrelated drug charges and was released from an upstate prison in August 2013, according to prison records.

He sued Southampton in February 2013, alleging he was falsely arrested in the Southampton raid. The suit is pending in federal court in Central Islip.

Opoku then sued Spota in May, alleging prosecutors withheld evidence from his attorney regarding the officer's addiction, but dropped the case in September.

John Nonnenmacher, the Manhattan-based attorney representing Opoku in the lawsuits, said by email Wednesday night that he didn't know of his client's arrest.

Wednesday's shooting set off a search by four police departments involving K-9 units and Suffolk County police helicopters.

Southampton police said they stopped a white sedan described by witnesses of the shooting about three miles from the crime scene and found Opoku and Coleman inside.

Eileen Powers, Opoku's Riverhead-based defense attorney, declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday night, saying she had not spoken to her client at length.

Coleman's court-appointed attorney could not be reached for comment.

With John Valenti

and Candice Ruud

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