St. Paul man arrested for marijuana possession but then released

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

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.
If a county medical examiner’s work is called into question in one case, it can affect all those they were a part of. An independent review is underway of murder cases involving the testimony of the long-time medical examiner in Ramsey County, Minnesota. The review comes in response to a wrongful murder conviction that was recently vacated on the basis that the medical examiner gave flawed medical testimony.
You might ask how plea bargains work if you are considering settling your criminal case by skipping the trial phase. A plea bargain in Minneapolis, MN, happens when a criminal defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest instead of having the prosecution prove his or her guilt at trial. The prosecution agrees to reduce the charges, recommend less harsh penalties, or drop the charges altogether in exchange for a guilty plea.