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Unlawful Search & Seizure

Authorities seized 476 pounds of pot as well as other items.

A North Dakota judge refused to consider as evidence nearly 500 pounds of marijuana seized during a vehicle stop because he said a county deputy did not have a good reason to be suspicious. The state argued that Stutsman County Deputy Matt Thom suspected the defendants of transporting illegal drugs because the vehicle was going 2 mph under the speed limit, the suspects were from St. Paul, the driver, Lee, was sitting too rigidly and did not look at the deputy when he drove alongside the vehicle, and no luggage was visible.

Southeast District Judge Jay Schmitz said in his order that Thom's explanation for the stop "was too inconsistent and contrived to be credible" and it violated the defendants' Fourth Amendment rights regarding unreasonable searches and seizures. All evidence obtained after the stop is inadmissible, Schmitz wrote.