Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Search begins before warrant shows up, case dismissed

The Kingsport paper (registration required) has this report on the dismissal of a major drug case in Tennessee because the search warrant did not arrive at the scene until 15 minutes after the search began.

The article says in part:

"Criminal charges against three Michigan people alleged to be involved in the biggest crack cocaine seizure in the history of Hawkins County were dismissed Monday due to a technicality. . . .

During a preliminary hearing Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court, TBI Agent C.N. Wilhoit, who obtained the search warrant, testified that he arrived at the Vandegrift residence 10 to 15 minutes after the search of the residence began.

As a result, Sessions Judge David Brand ruled that the search warrant was illegal and none of the items allegedly confiscated as a result of the search could be used as evidence.

Without use of that evidence, the Class A felony possession of Schedule II narcotics charges against Jackson, Coleman and Thompson - who were at the residence at the time of the search - were dismissed."

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