A Virginia man facing drug possession with intent to distribute charges intends to fight, hoping to suppress evidence that came from a police confiscation of his trash.
His case began in March, after a state trooper in another state pulled over the man while he was driving his motor home. After the man said he would not give his permission to a search of his motor home, the trooper called for a canine unit to come to the scene. When the dog allegedly hit upon the scent of drugs, state troopers claimed to find a minor amount of marijuana and nearly $180,000 in cash.
The troopers seized the money, which is legal under federal law if there is evidence the money was gained by criminal activity, but told the man and his traveling companion to get back on the road. By the time the driver, 42, arrived home in Norfolk, Virginia, however, law-enforcement agents had notified narcotics detectives there about their suspicions.
According to records, local police officers and federal agents took the man's garbage from outside his home. Going through the contents of the white plastic bags, authorities found marijuana and a car-rental receipt, according to the search warrant. Based on what they found, they connected with an informant, who allegedly taped a conversation with the man regarding drug sales.
In July, prosecutors charged the man with intent to distribute and related offenses. His lawyer said he will file legal documents to have that evidence suppressed.
No further information was available as to what warrants law enforcement had to obtain any evidence in the case against the man. Evidence that was obtained without proper search warrants or by following legal procedures frequently is thrown out in court.
Source: The Virginian-Pilot, "Arkansas traffic stop leads to drug charges in Norfolk," Patrick Wilson, Aug. 4, 2012