The lawyer for an art gallery owner has asked Connecticut authorities to drop charges against him and return a steel sculpture of drug spoon that was seized after being placed in front of a drug maker's headquarters in protest of the opioid overdose crisis.

Fernando Alvarez was arrested on misdemeanor charges last month after he and artist Domenic Esposito dropped the 800-pound sculpture in front of Purdue Pharma in Stamford.

The company denies allegations in lawsuits by several state and local governments that it used deceptive marketing to boost sales of its opioid painkiller OxyContin, which has been blamed for fueling the opioid crisis.

Alvarez appeared Tuesday in Stamford Superior Court. His case was continued to July 25.

Prosecutors didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

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