Man Claims Unlawful Search, but Judge Sets Trial Anyway in Drug Case

By Veronica Miller

MODESTO, CA – Although the accused complained arresting officers conducted an unlawful search, Judge Carrie Stephens found a drug-related felony case against the accused should be set for trial after the accused’s preliminary hearing Tuesday at Stanislaus County Superior Court.

The accused is being charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm.

Officer Justin Canatsy testified that, on the night of the incident, he saw about 12 people at the scene, including the accused who allegedly passed off his backpack to an underage minor.

In the backpack, said the officer, there was marijuana, and supplies that can be linked to the intent to sale of marijuana. There were papers and items that linked the backpack to the accused.

Officer Canatsy said he suspected that the backpack would have been handed off to the minor since the minor would not appear to be suspected of carrying those items. Officer Canatsy added this happens frequently with people carrying prohibited items when they have a previous felony—they often will have someone that looks the least suspicious carry it.

The next witness, Officer Edgar Villalpando, said that when he arrived there was a small group of men, and noted there were a couple handguns there as well. He stated that upon arrival he had contact with the accused who was on active parole.

Officer Villalpando then took the accused to conduct a search, to which the accused protested, declaring the search violated his rights. During the search a white powder allegedly was found in his pocket.

The accused also actively resisted Officer Villalpando during the search and as he was being put into the back of the car, alleged the officer.

The accused will be back in court on July 18.

About The Author

Veronica is a senior at UC Davis majoring in Political Science Public Service. She is passionate about advocating for women's rights and plans on attending law school where she can continue to advocate.

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