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Judge rules Waterloo police search was illegal

Judge Dennis Bender issued a ruling in favor of a Waterloo man who was arrested on May 16, 2012 in Seneca County Court this week. The arrest on May 16th was a result of Waterloo police officers smelling a marijuana odor at a Waterloo residence. Steven Ricci of Midey, Mirras & Ricci represented the defense in a criminal action prosecuted by the Seneca County District Attorney’s Office. The defendant was charged with Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Unlawfully Growing Cannabis. The top count of Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree is a Class D Felony and the maximum sentence is four years in state prison. As argued by the defense and held by the Seneca County Court, the police entry into the defendant’s home was motivated by a desire to find marijuana which was causing an odor. However, the entry into the home was without a warrant and without consent and, therefore, deemed illegal by Judge Bender. As a result, the evidence seized, as well as the defendant’s statements to the police will be suppressed. Therefore, the evidence of the alleged marijuana confiscated from the defendant’s home cannot be used against him at trial and all charges will likely be dismissed. Click here for the complete court ruling (.pdf)

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