A St. Paul resident was recently arrested for allegedly driving with a large amount of marijuana in his car. However, the man was released without having any formal charges filed against him.
The peculiar case began when the man was stopped by the Minnesota State Patrol on Interstate 494 in West St. Paul, Minnesota. According to the State Patrol, they had received information indicating that the 37-year-old man would be transporting a large amount of marijuana. Police used canines to allegedly discover more than 100 pounds of marijuana in the man’s pickup truck. The drugs allegedly had a street value of more than $250,000.
The man was arrested for suspicion of felony second-degree drug possession, and then taken to the Dakota County Jail, where he was held for two days without charges being filed. Police are reportedly still investigating, and charges are pending.
The man’s release raises questions of whether police followed proper procedures in making the arrest and seizing the supposed evidence. If the truck was loaded down with more than 100 pounds of marijuana, why would they send him back out onto the street?
Police have to follow the law when they stop and search a vehicle. Did the man give his consent? Was there probable cause to execute a search without the man’s consent? Were the man’s constitutional rights honored when he was pulled over?
These are questions that need to be asked if charges are to be filed against the man. Additionally, since his only previous trouble with the law has been moving violations, it is possible that he may not receive a harsh sentence if he is convicted.
Source: St. Paul Pioneer-Press, “St. Paul man arrested with 100+ pounds of marijuana in vehicle,” Marino Eccher, April 17, 2013