Judge Dismisses $4 Million Pot Bust Due to Illegal Vehicle Search

drug bust

[Canniseur: Unscrupulous cops can no longer get away with their underhanded methods. Body cameras now protect citizens from unwarranted search (but not seizure). This is a very good thing. Even still, we cannot wait until legal cannabis is the rule of the land. ]

Two men were caught with 900 pounds of processed pot, and 112 jars of cannabis extract, but their case was miraculously thrown out.

It may be rare, but sometimes, the rule of law can work against the cops. And in the case of two Montana men accused of transporting more than 900 pounds of pot across the Midwest, a shaky police video and a skeptical judge resulted in a hail mary case dismissal for the ages.

According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, Jared Desroches, 31, and Alexander Gordon, 24, were driving a camper truck on Interstate 94 last March when Minnesota state trooper Aaron Myren spotted a cracked windshield and what he described as erratic driving. He pulled them over and found 900 pounds of processed pot, 406 grams of pre-packaged concentrates, 112 jars of cannabis extract, and $15,500 in cash in the back of the truck. 

Both men were arrested at the scene and taken into custody on charges of distributing illicit narcotics. But at a court hearing this week, Minnesota District Judge Timothy Churchwell ruled the vehicle search that led to the discovery illegal, after video from the scene refuted trooper Myren’s lane-swerving claims.

“The video played a huge role in us getting it tossed out because a lot of it didn’t match up to what he [Myrens] was saying,” Paul Applebaum, a St. Paul lawyer who is part of the two men’s defense team, told the Star Tribune. “The squad video, which essentially records from the same vantage point as Myren’s, shows that the pickup never crossed the fog-line — it merely touched it once for a fraction of a second and proceeded flawlessly for a substantial distance before Myren pulled it over.” 

Since the entire case was predicated on the roadside search and seizure, Churchwell dismissed the case altogether, releasing Desroches and Gordon from lock up and sending them back to their home state.

As America’s piecemeal legalization system continues to expand, opportunistic outlaws have revved up their interstate trafficking efforts in recent years, with law enforcement across the country announcing large scale pot busts almost daily.

Unfortunately, because the two men were stopped in a prohibition state with way more weed than is allowed, the two lucky transporters still won’t be able to get their truckload of product out of lock-up. You can’t win ‘em all.

Follow Zach Harris on Twitter

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