Cortland County Judge Tosses Evidence and Statements in State Police Heroin Case
A Cortland County Judge has tossed out key evidence and statements in a drug case against a Marcellus man who was found with over 500 packets of heroin during a traffic stop on Interstate 81 in Marathon last August.
Back on August 7th State Police stopped a vehicle driven by 41 year old Terence Brown. Officers pulled him over after Brown drove his vehicle into the grassy median and back on to the highway. During the stop troopers conducted sobriety tests of which Brown passed some but failed others, he was then asked if his car could be searched. Brown consented and troopers found a bag in the trunk containing several hundred individual packets of a drug that later turned out to be heroin. Police searched Brown and found a similar substance on him.
Brown was charged with a felony count of possessing of a controlled substance and driving while ability impaired by drugs.
In a decision filed last Friday Cortland County Judge Julie Campbell ruled that Brown was technically in custody when he failed the sobriety tests and should have been read his Miranda rights. Because he was not informed of his rights the search was not legal and the drugs found could not be used as evidence.
Brown still faces the driving under the influence charge and a misdemeanor drug possession charge. County D-A Mark Suben was not available for comment yesterday.
Brown is being held in the Cortland County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond, he is due back in court at a later date.