According to court documents, state police working a selective enforcement trap on Highway 71 detained a man for drug possession. The traffic stop occurred on Sept. 2 after a Chevrolet Impala allegedly passed two checkpoint signs and stopped on the shoulder of the highway.
After the vehicle stopped, the troopers say that the driver and passenger in the front seat got out and switched roles. When state police approached the pair, a trooper reportedly smelled a marijuana odor coming from the car. The occupants allegedly said that they had marijuana in the trunk.
Nebraska State Police say that they found 89.9 grams of marijuana in three bags in the vehicle. This equates to a little more than 3 ounces of marijuana. One of the vehicle occupants, a 20-year-old Scottsbluff man, was detained and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of more than 1 ounce but less than 1 pound of marijuana.
Under Nebraska laws regarding drug crimes, possession of more than 1 ounce but less than 1 pound of marijuana is a Class III misdemeanor. There is no minimum sentence for convictions of this charge, but the maximum sentence is three months incarceration, a $500 fine or both.
Lawyers for people who are accused of such a charge might be able to get the charge dismissed if they are able to prove that authorities did not have probable cause or violated the defendants’ rights while gathering evidence against them. The charges may also be dropped if the drug evidence turns up missing, which happens in rare cases as the evidence is being processed. If these tactics are not feasible, the lawyers could negotiate plea deals to reduce the severity of the penalties.
Source: KOTA, “Bluffs man busted for drugs following ruse N.S.P. checkpoint”, Ryan Murphy, September 04, 2014