Traffic stops often lead to allegations of far more serious crimes. A man and a woman from Indiana learned that lesson when they were stopped by police for failing to obey a stop sign. A search of their car by a K-9 unit of the state police resulted in the pair being arrested and charged with several gun and drug crimes.
According to the press release issued by the Indiana state police, a trooper noticed a 1998 Mercedes as it failed to obey a stop sign. The officer noticed unspecified “suspicious circumstances” that led him to request a K-9 unit to aid in the search of the vehicle.
The dogs alerted officers to the possible presence of narcotics in the vehicle. Relying on the dogs’ signals, officers searched the car and allegedly found 27 grams of methamphetamine, a small amount of heroin and four firearms. One of the weapons was alleged to be the subject of a gun theft report from Vanderburgh County. Neither of the occupants had a permit to carry a handgun. Both individuals were charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a narcotic and carrying a handgun without a license. The male was also charged with stealing the handgun.
Probable cause, not mere “suspicious circumstances,” are the key to determining whether any search made by police is proper. If you are facing criminal charges and the case hinges on evidence police discovered at the scene, you may wish to contact an attorney. An experienced criminal attorney may be able to show that the search was unreasonable, thereby knocking out the most important element in the prosecution’s case.
Source: theindychannel.com, “Pair arrested with drugs, stolen gun in Dubois County,” Jordan Fischer, Dec. 21, 2017