A man arrested after police found 36 pounds of marijuana taped to the roof of his van had his felony case dismissed Sunday, thanks to a former drug cop, Steemit reports Sunday.
The former drug cop, Barry Cooper, has worked for several police departments in Texas and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. military and Border Patrol.
He was called on by the unnamed defendant as an expert witness prior to the suppression hearing phase of the case. A suppression hearing is where the defense lawyer will argue that the case should be dismissed before going to trial, if there are found to be errors in how the police obtained the evidence.
“As an expert witness, I am allowed to review my client’s evidence,” Cooper wrote on a post to his Steemit page. “I use my experience as a former drug cop to find holes in the government’s case.”
Cooper said that after reviewing the evidence, he found that the cops had illegally obtained the marijuana after a search that did not meet the probable cause standard needed.
He notes that the drug dog properly alerted the officers to the marijuana, but the officers violated the law in bringing the drug dog to the scene in the first place.
“The arresting officer noted in his report the driver was nervous and his story seemed suspicious but these two ‘suspicions’ are not probable cause,” Cooper said. After the officer noticed the defendants “suspicious” behavior, he called in the drug dog, which Cooper successfully argued was a violation of the law.
After the defense lawyer spoke with the prosecution about this illegality, the prosecution decided to drop the case, as they knew it would be dismissed during the suppression hearing.
“When I was a cop, I received training that was intended to help cage people for non-violent drug crimes,” Cooper concludes. “Now, it’s very satisfying for me to use the same training to free people.”
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