DEA Illegally GPS-Tracked a Drug Runner, Now It Can't Enter 150 Pounds of Found Weed Into Evidence
Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 24th 2012 by THCFinder
The one thing you can't fault the US Drug Enforcement Agency for is not trying hard enough. These dedicated civil servants won't let trivialities like "laws" and "warrants" hinder their efforts to enforce other laws and warrants.
The latest DEA boondoggle involves one Robert Dale Lee, an ex-con truck driver travelling from Chicago through Kentucky. A witness had previously alerted authorities that Lee was running a small-scale transport operation—moving weed from the Windy City to Eastern Kentucky for sale. So, DEA Task Force Officer Brian Metzger took it upon himself to outfit Lee's truck with a GPS tracking unit in September, 2011—unfortunately, he didn't also take it upon himself to actually get a warrant first.
This is what allowed Kentucky Highway Patrol officers to know exactly where on I-75 to find Lee and what he'd be carrying. In fact, Metzger even contacted a trooper ahead of time and told him Lee's truck "probably contained marijuana" but the trooper "would have to obtain his own PC, probable cause, for a traffic stop," Judge Amul Roger Thapar wrote. The KHP popped Lee for not wearing a seat belt (a rookie mistake on Lee's part).
Lee is being charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana but, unfortunately for the prosecution, Federal law prohibit the inclusion of evidence obtained without a warrant. And given that the sole piece of evidence against Lee was his stash, the prosecution's case will likely *puts on sunglasses* go up in smoke.
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