When police pull over a driver for a routine traffic stop, the officers usually cannot conduct a search of the vehicle or its occupants without a warrant or probable cause. Often, probable cause is a subjective matter, and the officer may use his or her own observations to prove there was a good reason to instigate a search. Recently, two out-of-state men were arrested on drug charges by Nebraska police following a search of their vehicle.
The men apparently ran a stop sign on a recent Friday afternoon. The traffic violation caught the attention of state police officers who pulled the car over. While news reports give no details, they do state that the passenger in the car allegedly said or did something to raise the suspicions of the troopers. Officers subsequently searched the car and reportedly found illegal drugs and paraphernalia.
Police reports indicate that they found thousands of packets of edible THC and liquid THC, as well as a small quantity of cocaine. In addition to charges for possessing the 4,100 drug items, the two men were booked on counts of intent to deliver illegal drugs. The men, ages 28 and 29, are being held in the county jail.
Attorneys for the men will likely question the validity of the search and the probable cause officers claimed to have. If the Nebraska court agrees that officers conducted the search illegally, the drug charges against the men may not stand. This is why those facing criminal charges would do well to have the representation of legal counsel as early as possible after an arrest.
Source: nebraska.tv, “Police discovered over 4,000 illegal drug items during traffic stop”, Sept. 11, 2017