The Ohio State Highway Patrol has recently placed a greater emphasis on anti-drug efforts and instituted tougher enforcement standards on drug crimes. While the results have spoken for themselves in terms of a record number of seizures of dangerous substances, such as heroin and opiates, the methods have not been without controversy.
Attorney Ian Friedman recently weighed in on the matter to the Associated Press on the issue, having defended a client who was deemed to have been unreasonably searched merely because his car had an out-of-state plate. Said Attorney Friedman, “"We really see it with baseless stops that are nothing more than a pretext to have the vehicles and occupants searched for drugs.”
In the case, Judge John Miraldi found it suspicious that half of the drugs seized by one particular two-trooper team over the last 12 months came from cars with these out-of-state plates. In his initial decision, he wrote “These facts alone present concerns to this court that perhaps this 'team' so charged and so successful, may be using traffic stops as a pretext for searches and seizures.” As a result of this decision, more than 200 pounds of marijuana were suppressed as evidence, deemed to be unlawfully obtained via a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Police have hailed the program for its successes. Troopers confiscated over 150 pounds of heroin in the 2016 year, an increase of nearly 300 percent. Patrol Lieutenant Robert Sellers stated “Our No. 1 job is to protect the public. It's to preserve life, and especially with the drug epidemic to stop the drugs wreaking havoc on our communities and neighborhoods.”
The Ohio patrol efforts have since become a model for other agencies across the country, which could lead to more cases like this one handled by Attorney Friedman.
Have you been arrested and charged with a drug crime, such as trafficking, possession, sale, or manufacturing? Don’t face your prosecution without assistance from an experienced Cleveland criminal defense attorney. Attorney Ian Friedman of Friedman & Nemeck, L.L.C. is committed to help you navigate the complexities of your case and obtain a successful outcome. We have been honored with numerous prestigious awards and accolades, including being named one of the Best Lawyers in America®.Call Friedman & Nemeck, L.L.C. today at (216) 928-7700 and let us assist you, starting with a free initial consultation.