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Top Court Tosses Drug Conviction


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Saying Baltimore police did not have correct cause to stop a man and then find marijuana, the Court of Appeals yesterday tossed out the drug conviction of a Baltimore man.

Maryland's highest court, in a four-to-three decision, said "police did not have an articulable reasonable suspicion to stop (Lamont Anthony) Lewis based upon the fact that he 'almost' hit a police car." Three Baltimore police officers searching for a rape suspect pulled along Lewis' parked S-U-V and stopped just ahead of it. When Lewis pulled away from the curb, he almost hit the back of the police vehicle.

When officers asked Lewis to get out of his car a plastic bag containing marijuana fell to the ground, and the driverless S-U-V drifted approximately 20 feet down the road. Police searched the S-U-V and found more drugs.

Lewis was convicted of marijuana possession and sentenced to one year in prison after a Circuit Court judge allowed prosecutors to use evidence from the plastic bag that fell from the car, but not those found in the search.

But the Court of Appeals said that even the first bag of marijuana was improperly obtained by police.

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: WMDT - TV (MD)
Author: The Associated Press
Copyright: 2007 The Associated Press
Website: WMDT-TV - Delmarva's Choice
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