By Harry Hizeman
Daily Herald, Thursday
February 3, 2016
Three Minnesota residents accused of transporting nearly a pound heroin are fighting their November 2015 arrest on Interstate 90 near Huntley, saying a Kane County sheriff's deputy had no probable cause to pull them over and any evidence seized should be banned from court.
Jessica D. Johnson, 29, and Leo W. Cook, 31, both of Redby, and Derek J. Paddy, 20, of Red Lake, were charged with felony heroin possession and armed violence after traffic stop in which authorities seized 14 ounces of heroin worth an estimated $80,000, along with $9,000 cash and a 9 mm handgun.
The three argue Deputy Ron Hain lacked probable cause for the traffic stop, and the warrant issued as a result violated their Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
"Any information obtained through the search warrant was tainted by the prior illegal stop, search and arrest and therefore should be suppressed," read part of a motion filed by Kathleen Colton, the defense attorney for Johnson.
Colton argues authorities pulled over Johnson even though she was not breaking any traffic laws. Johnson was issued a warning and should have been allowed to leave, but she and her passengers were detained while police waited for a drug dog to arrive.
Colton's challenge is the latest court action directed against Hain.
Last year, a judge ruled Hain and another deputy conducted an illegal strip search of a Minnesota man after an April 2015 traffic stop on I-90 near Elgin.
Prosecutors have appealed the ruling that disallows methamphetamine seized from Ismael Jaimes-Meza, 24, of St. Paul.
Next week, a judge also could rule on a motion to suppress evidence filed by a former Oregon sheriff's deputy accused of trafficking drugs and money laundering. William Floyd Marsh Jr., 58, argues Hain did not have probable cause to detain him and that a drug-sniffing dog does not give an indication of drugs.
Colton's motion on behalf of Johnson also argues the drug-sniffing dog did not indicate the possible presence of drugs, but Hain searched the vehicle anyway.
Attorneys for the three defendants will argue the matter April 14.
If convicted of the most severe charge, Paddy, Cook and Johnson each face six to 30 years in prison.