Did Buffalo Police Department sanction heroin use for promotional film?

Real drugs used in film mayor endorsed
Posted at 9:26 AM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 11:08:33-04

"Blink of an Eye" is a movie made in Buffalo to combat heroin addiction that premiered last month.

The movie, endorsed by Mayor Byron Brown, was made in cooperation with the Buffalo Police Department and was promoted as a chance to "see eye to eye the demon drug and the people that chase it."

But real drugs were used in the filming -- including a controversial scene where Buffalo addict Robert Sagliani shoots up in a bathroom at the Main Place Mall. 

"It is abhorrent that the Saglianis would be encouraged to illegally use heroin, endangering their lives, in the interest of a film which could be used as an election year campaign commercial," Sagliani's attorney, Mark Sacha, wrote in a court motion. 

Sacha is seeking to have drug charges against his client dismissed. Those charges relate to a traffic stop in December in which Sagliani was arrested for drug possession but then propositioned to be part of the movie. He assumed the drug charges would be dropped in exchange for his cooperation, but that did not happen. 

The controversy was first reported by The Buffalo News. Sacha confirmed the details of the incident in a phone interview with 7 Eyewitness News on Tuesday. 

City Hall and Buffalo Police spokesman Michael DeGeorge -- who also speaks for the mayor's re-election campaign -- did not immediately respond to a request for comment.