Judge Dismisses Drug Trafficking Charges Following Motion to Traverse and Quash Search Warrant

February 2015

Michael’s client was charged with multiple felony counts of drug sales, gun charges, transportation and bringing an illegal substance into a jail. The plea offer was 6 years state prison due to a strike prior. The client was contacted by law enforcement via text using information obtained from an informant. The only description provided by the informant was a telephone number and a general description that his dope dealer was Hispanic. Several text messages were exchanged between the client and law enforcement posing as a buyer. Ultimately, a location was agreed upon and multiple law enforcement officers arrived at the location. Law enforcement made contact with a male Hispanic in an alley and arrested him after they observed him swallowing a baggie of what appeared to be cocaine. Law enforcement then used keys recovered from him to locate his vehicle and what they believed to be his residence. After illegally entering the property through a locked gate, law enforcement purportedly dialed his number and testified that they could hear the phone ringing in the residence. They proceeded to obtain a search warrant on executed the warrant. Drugs, guns, scales and credit card readers were recovered. Michael filed a motion to traverse and quash the warrant based on the initial entry into the car and the yard where they made the subsequent observations arguing that the officers withheld favorable information from the Judge who issued the warrant. Following a brutal cross-examination of the officers, The Judge agreed and suppressed all evidence with the exception of drugs recovered in his jail cell following his arrest. The prosecution was left with a possession charge only. The passage of Prop 47 deemed the possession a misdemeanor and the client got probation and no jail.

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