Yes, they found heroin in the vehicle.
And state and federal law enforcers also discovered something else subsequent to their drug seizure and arrest of a driver in Michigan, namely this: a pretextual traffic stop owing to a violation purposely caused by a police officer just won’t fly under the Constitution’s 4th Amendment.
Bottom line: case dismissed.
A federal judge’s ire was clearly on display in his recent ruling aimed at police misconduct orchestrated to yield a traffic stop and justify a vehicle search for drugs. Their suspected presence in a car was signaled to a state trooper by federal DEA agents who wanted the car stopped.
Here’s how the cop accomplished that mission: He pulled alongside the driver and reportedly stared him down for about a minute. The motorist slowed down a couple miles per hour, and the officer then stopped him for driving 53 mph in a 55-mph zone.
No drugs were found in that detainment. They were, though, in a second stop undertaken after discovery that the driver had a visa irregularity.
As noted in a recent media piece reporting the story, the judge “was not impressed.” He ruled that, because the initial stop was flatly illegal, any evidence subsequently discovered was inadmissible in a court proceeding as so-called “fruit of the poisonous tree.”
“The officer himself created the alleged traffic violation to justify the stop of the vehicle,” the judge wrote in a scathing opinion. Moreover, the court noted, driving two miles per hour slower than a posted speed limit does not justify a traffic stop.