Bussa Law

Main Menu

Minnesota Legal Blog

Almost 77,000 THC vaping cartridges seized in Minnesota

On Sept. 23, Minnesota authorities confiscated nearly 77,000 illicit THC vaping cartridges from a residence in Coon Rapids. The bust is thought to be the one of the largest drug busts in state history.

According to media reports, the Northwest Metro Drug Task Force raided a home and uncovered the cartridges, which have an estimated street value of $3.8 million. Investigators believe they were brought in from another state so they could be distributed locally. However, they are uncertain if they are legal products from other states or black market products that were shipped in. In addition to the cartridges, investigators found other THC and marijuana products and $23,380 in counterfeit cash in the home. A man in the residence was taken into custody, but the charges against him were not disclosed.

Scientists claim device can detect cannabis in breath

As cannabis is legalized in an increasing number of states, many people have raised concerns about individuals driving while under the influence of marijuana. Drunken driving has been linked to a large number of motor vehicle collisions in Minnesota. States across the country have enacted tough laws setting out clear blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits. Drivers caught exceeding these limits can face drunken driving charges. The 0.08% BAC limit is backed up by a significant amount of research regarding how alcohol affects drivers' decision-making abilities. However, there is relatively little research about how cannabis affects a person's driving skills.

Many people arrested for drunken driving are tested with a Breathalyzer. Suspected drunk drivers are directed by police to blow into the device, so it can measure the alcohol in their breath. While the device is now accepted, initially, it was the subject of intense debate and skepticism. Scientists are working on efforts to develop a Breathalyzer-type instrument to measure a driver's level of cannabis intoxication. One University of Pittsburgh team announced a new device to measure the level of THC, the active component in marijuana, in the breath.

Minnesota men face 15-count federal narcotics indictment

Federal prosecutors in Minnesota reported that two men have been charged with conspiring to distribute in excess of 2 pounds of heroin in St. Louis County. The 36-year-old and 39-year-old Duluth residents face multiple conspiracy, drug possession and weapons charges. The 15-count indictment was announced in an Aug. 30 press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota. The press release did not indicate where the men are being held or when they are scheduled to be arraigned.

The men were taken into custody on May 30 when officers attached to the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force executed search warrants at two locations in Duluth. The searches of an apartment and hotel room allegedly led to the discovery of heroin and cocaine with a street value of approximately $350,000. Police also claim to have recovered $94,000 in currency and a loaded firearm.

Minnesota Supreme Court rules on drug dealer rectum case

A man convicted of dealing drugs in 2015 became an unlikely civil rights hero on Aug. 14 when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the methods police used to obtain the crack cocaine used to convict him violated his rights against unreasonable searches and seizures guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. The drugs were recovered after the man was sedated, strapped to a table and subjected to a cavity search of his rectum.

Police say that they saw the man appear to conceal the drugs when he was taken into custody following an undercover narcotics buy. Doctors at North Memorial Hospital refused to perform a cavity search because the warrant obtained by police did not specifically authorize such an invasive procedure. The search was later performed by doctors at the Hennepin County Medical Center after police had obtained a more explicit warrant. Two officers remained in the room while the man was searched.

How to deal with potentially biased testimony

In Minnesota and throughout the country, there is an ongoing debate about accepting testimony from police officers with histories of misconduct. It was recently revealed that officers in Lake County, Florida, were making racist comments on a Facebook page. A letter from a variety of progressive groups was sent to the Florida state attorney asking that officers that make such comments not be called to testify at trial.

The letter claims that holding these views could make it harder for them to be seen as objective witnesses. Another letter sent to the district attorney in Los Angeles also claims that biased testimony could harm communities and call into question the objectivity of the legal system. Some jurisdictions already have what are referred to as Brady lists, which keep track of officers who have not been truthful in previous cases.

Authorities begin to implement First Step Act

Those who are currently serving time in Minnesota prisons may be eligible for an early release because of the First Step Act. Beginning on July 19, 3,100 inmates will be released in an effort to comply with the law. Of those who are going to be released soon, about 900 will need to resolve immigration or other local charges. The Department of Homeland Security and other state agencies have discretion as to what happens to them.

As part of the First Step Act, inmates are given a risk assessment score, and that score is reevaluated every six months. Those who are deemed a low enough risk could be entitled to credits that allow them to be released sooner than anticipated. The law also grants greater access to home confinement and compassionate release programs that had been used infrequently before it was passed.

Minnesota couple facing drug charges after residence search

Two Minnesota residents were taken into custody on the morning of July 1 when deputies from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office and officers from the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team executed a search warrant in Stewartville. The search was conducted as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation according to police reports.

According to media accounts, police entered a residence on Heron Drive Northwest at approximately 8:50 a.m. An ensuing search of the property is said to have led to the discovery and seizure of approximately 45 grams of a substance believed to be marijuana, a bag containing an undisclosed quantity of a substance believed to be cocaine, approximately $500 in currency and several items of drug paraphernalia.

Felony drug charges against 2 in Minnesota

Three people were taken into custody in Minnesota on June 13 on drug-related charges. The Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force conducted a search warrant at a home in Le Sauk Township and detained a 21-year-old woman, a 33-year-old man, and a 55-year-old man.

In November 2018, according to authorities, a confidential informant for the task force agreed to buy heroin from the woman. Allegedly, the 33-year-old man made the reservation for the room where the deal took place. Court documents also allege that the informant made several additional plans to purchase drugs at a gas station and a store.

Battle over police access to cellphone passwords heating up

Americans' cellphones and other digital devices contain a treasure trove of personal information, including private messages, phone call logs and browsing histories. Most of this data is mundane, but some of it could be incriminating if a person is being investigated for a crime. As a result, law enforcement agencies in Minnesota and across the U.S. are pushing to gain access to certain people's cellphones, making privacy advocates nervous.

So far, courts have ruled that law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant before searching someone's cellphone. However, there is still much debate about whether police can compel people to use their passcode, fingerprint or face to unlock their devices. To make matters even more complicated, the rules differ depending on the state someone lives in, and there are currently multiple court cases making their way through state legal systems.

Routine traffic stop results in seizure of 28 pounds of meth

Minnesota State Patrol seized 28 pounds of methamphetamines during a traffic stop in Freeborn County on May 20. Two men were detained as a result of the seizure. Police estimate that the drugs have a street value between $196,000 and $280,000.

Officers initially pulled over the vehicle because it didn't have a front license plate. When troopers approached the men in the vehicle, they noted that they acted nervously. One trooper noted that one man's heartbeat was noticeable through his shirt. When asked where they were going, the men replied that they were returning from a vehicle auction in New Mexico and hadn't been able to stop to sleep.

  • What Should You Do If You Get Stopped By A Cop?

    You should not be hostile. Simply stop and allow the cop to do the cop’s job. If you are ticketed or arrested, immediately...

  • What Should You Say If You Get Stopped By A Cop?

    You have constitutional rights that you can invoke. This means that you do not have to say anything to cops, which is...

  • Can A Cop Search Your Person And/Or Your Stuff?

    A cop can search you and/or your car if a cop has probable cause to believe you pose a violent threat to the cop and/or that you...

  • What Is The Standard To Arrest You?

    A cop must have probable cause to arrest you for a crime. A cop can use the cop’s training and experience as well as his...

  • What Should You Do If You Get Served With A Search Warrant?

    The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution mandates that a cop present...

  • If Arrested, How Long Can You Be Held In Jail?

    No matter what crime you are charged with, you have 36 hours to have a bail hearing if you are in jail. This time requirement...

  • If Arrested, How Long Do You Have To Wait To Be Formally Charged?

    If you are in custody, the prosecution has 48 hours from the time of your demand to file...

  • Are All Of Your Privacy Rights Protected?

    No, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution only protects your person, your home, your papers, and your...

  • What Are The Differences Between The United States And The Minnesota Constitutions?

  • After You Are Charged, What Does The Process Entail?

    Vigorously defending your rights demands a marathon, not a sprint, mentality. Every stone must be overturned.

Learn More About Your Rights Call For A Free Consultation 218-303-5497

Free Consultations

Client Reviews

More Reviews