Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 2/17/2006 9:28:55 PM EDT
This is an interesting one, the police were looking for guns related to the alledged threat against his exwife and claimed they smelled pot in his safe but the judge says they lied. The below quote in red is a good one


Judge rules against police in gun search
Decision scoffs at cops' probable cause
Saturday, February 18, 2006
A Morris County judge ruled police lied about being able to smell two pounds of marijuana inside Ziploc bags in a safe, and that a State Police investigator provided misleading information to get a search warrant, according to an appellate ruling released yesterday.

The appeals panel upheld Superior Court Judge John Harper's May 24 decision that neither the drugs nor Vincent Dispoto's admission could be used to prosecute him.

State Police began investigating Dispoto, 48, of Parsippany, in April 2001 after an informant said Dispoto was linked to organized crime and planned to have his estranged wife killed, the appellate decision said.

The murder-for-hire investigation halted April 25, 2001, when Dispoto, being secretly recorded by the informant, denied any plan to have his wife killed.

But State Police decided to warn Dispoto's wife and got a temporary restraining order and a warrant to seize weapons, the appellate decision said.

A "confidential source provided information that the victim is in danger of physical harm as a result of attempts being made by the defendant to hire someone to murder his wife," the restraining order application said.

That night, police gave Dispoto the restraining order at the Morris Plains police station and read him his Miranda rights -- more than an hour before he was charged with any offense, the decision said.

During the search for guns at his home, Dispoto was arrested after telling police he won a revolver in a poker game. That is when police should have given Dispoto his Miranda rights, according to the decision.

When they reached the garage, Dispoto's coloring "went from a 'George Hamilton tan to a Bella (sic) Lugosi gray,'" according to one of the officers, the decision said. Dispoto admitted having two pounds of marijuana in the garage safe, the decision said.

Without Dispoto's statement, the only probable cause police had to get a search warrant was the purported odor of marijuana, the appellate ruling said.

"It's improbable that the officers smelled the odor of raw marijuana, given that marijuana was contained in individually sealed Ziploc plastic bags while inside the safe," Harper ruled.

The appeals panel noted the judge who issued the search warrant for the drugs in 2001 didn't know the details of its packaging and had been wrongly led to believe that Dispoto had been properly given his Miranda rights.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph D'Onofrio Jr. said his office may ask the state Supreme Court to review the case. The prosecution argued the original Miranda warning was sufficient and that Harper no had no right to suppress the evidence, reversing an earlier decision.

Defense attorney Michael Ascher could not be reached for comment yesterday, but a motion is pending to have the indictment against Dispoto thrown out.

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/morris/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1140241936241540.xml&coll=1

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 10:08:24 PM EDT
Typical news story. Hard to tell what really happened. Why was he under arrest for admitting he had a gun? Had he been convicted of a felony, domestic violence, etc? Was he even under arrest or just being detained and the newspaper got it wrong? Been there, done that!

I wonder if NJ law requires Miranda at the time of arrest since you can't tell by the article. If they read him Miranda before he told them about the Marijuana, it seems like it would be a voluntary confession. Obviously the DA thinks so since he brought it to court and says that he might appeal. There is a good chance the trial judge will be overruled.

I am not real sure about the cop that testified about the guy turning from George Hamilton tan to a Bela Legosi gray. The guy must be bored with his career and trying to spice it up with such nonsense. Maybe he thought it was cute at the time. What an idiot.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 10:13:03 PM EDT
Apparently the main reason it was thrown was that the search warrant was obtained AFTER the police knew he was not trying to have his wife killed...and they used that argument to get the warrant.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 10:58:09 PM EDT
I dunno. 2 lbs of weed is a whole lot of it. I bet it would give off a noticeable odor, though I guess it would depend on the safe among other things. I also find it interesting that they claimed to smell the weed, and then..... they actually found the weed where they claimed to smell it coming from. If they claimed to smell weed, but only found a gun, then I would be suspicious. But as they actually found some (2 pounds really is a good amount of it) I think there is some credibility to their claim.

I would like to see more facts though before passing more judgement.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 11:05:41 PM EDT
Two pounds of marijauna gives off a disitnct odor that anyone with healthy olfactory senses could easily detect. I have seen that much pot a few times. Even lessor amounts give off a very strong odor.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 11:06:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Apparently the main reason it was thrown was that the search warrant was obtained AFTER the police knew he was not trying to have his wife killed...and they used that argument to get the warrant.



That could be the case but that is not what the article said. It mentions the suspect admitting the marijuana after he was arrested on a gun charge (not the threats) after admitting he won a revolver in a poker game. Naturally the article does not say what gun charge he was arrested on.

The judge didn't rule that arrest illegal (according to the article) but that Miranda should have been given at that time. It appears that by the judge's ruling (according to the article), he would have accepted the PC "if" they had read Miranda at the time of arrest.

The cops read it at a later time and he then confessed. A confession is great PC for a warrant, assuming the confession is legal.

The cops had two good reasons for the warrant, the odor of marijuana and the confession. The judge ruled (according to the article) that he didn't think the confession was any good because of the delayed Miranda and he further didn't believe that the cops could smell the marijuana, basically calling them liars. I think that has a lot to do with the case, especially after the officer's statement about George Hamilton tan and Bela Legosi gray.

I am just wondering if Miranda is required at the time of arrest in NJ. Is that why he ruled on the Miranda issue or was the judge just pissed because he didn't believe the officers? The District Attorney obviously believed that Miranda was given according to the law (according to the article) and may appeal to a higher court.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 11:12:38 PM EDT
This happenned in my town and its the first I heard of it.

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 11:16:03 PM EDT

the judge says they lied.

No, the judge said it was "improbable." That means unlikely to be true. There's a huge difference.z
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 11:20:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:

the judge says they lied.

No, the judge said it was "improbable." That means unlikely to be true. There's a huge difference.z



Judges make errors in judgment nearly as often as cops do.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 11:26:56 PM EDT
Miranda doesn't have to be given upon arrest. If that was the judge's point, he is wrong.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 11:41:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/17/2006 11:46:32 PM EDT by AZ-K9]

"It's improbable that the officers smelled the odor of raw marijuana, given that marijuana was contained in individually sealed Ziploc plastic bags while inside the safe," Harper ruled.


STOOOOPID MOFO.


Originally Posted By NCPatrolAR:
Miranda doesn't have to be given upon arrest. If that was the judge's point, he is wrong.



Hard to tell from the shitty article, but the Miranda and search may have occured on different days or at least several hours apart. Might be trying to raise an issue there, maybe not. Crappy, crappy writing.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:01:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NCPatrolAR:
Miranda doesn't have to be given upon arrest. If that was the judge's point, he is wrong.



I agree from the current Miranda rules from the USSC. I believe that some states are more restrictive than the federal guidelines. I was wondering about New Jersey.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 6:39:33 AM EDT
"It's improbable that the officers smelled the odor of raw marijuana, given that marijuana was contained in individually sealed Ziploc plastic bags while inside the safe," Harper ruled.

Any pot head knows you can still smell weed even when its in a ziplock. Hell standing at the drivers dor you can smell just a few grams in a ziplock stashed in the glove box or center console. Two Pounds smells to high heaven.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 6:52:18 AM EDT
Couldn't he come up with a better hiding place? That said, he was trafficking.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 6:54:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 7:11:16 AM EDT
My understanding of the article is that the guy was arrested for gun charges due to the restraining order, which was given on testimony of a narc, even AFTER the guy denied planning a murder of his ex-wife. THe police told the ex, and she got the restraining order, which they used to bust him for the gun, and when they went to get the gun, that is when they found the pot. The gun and pot were in the same safe, and of course, if the accused opened the safe to retrieve the gun, they would see the pot.

Sounds like this guy was set up because the cops couldn't get any hard evidence in a legal manner.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 7:13:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
"It's improbable that the officers smelled the odor of raw marijuana, given that marijuana was contained in individually sealed Ziploc plastic bags while inside the safe," Harper ruled.

Any pot head knows you can still smell weed even when its in a ziplock. Hell standing at the drivers dor you can smell just a few grams in a ziplock stashed in the glove box or center console. Two Pounds smells to high heaven.




Bullshit . If you can smell pot that well maybe you should go be a drug dog. There is no fucking way you can smell a few grams of pot in a bag in a glove box from across the car.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 7:59:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 8:30:52 AM EDT by Bama-Shooter]
Piss poor police procedure.

ETA: And the officer who knowingly made false statements to get the RO and warrant should be fired.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 8:03:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
"It's improbable that the officers smelled the odor of raw marijuana, given that marijuana was contained in individually sealed Ziploc plastic bags while inside the safe," Harper ruled.

Any pot head knows you can still smell weed even when its in a ziplock. Hell standing at the drivers dor you can smell just a few grams in a ziplock stashed in the glove box or center console. Two Pounds smells to high heaven.



You have a great nose!



Link Posted: 2/18/2006 8:20:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
"It's improbable that the officers smelled the odor of raw marijuana, given that marijuana was contained in individually sealed Ziploc plastic bags while inside the safe," Harper ruled.

Any pot head knows you can still smell weed even when its in a ziplock. Hell standing at the drivers dor you can smell just a few grams in a ziplock stashed in the glove box or center console. Two Pounds smells to high heaven.



Now that smells funny. Are you sure you were smelling it right from the sealed, airtight bag, and not because the dumbasses just smoked the other half of the stash in the car?
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 8:26:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mace:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
"It's improbable that the officers smelled the odor of raw marijuana, given that marijuana was contained in individually sealed Ziploc plastic bags while inside the safe," Harper ruled.

Any pot head knows you can still smell weed even when its in a ziplock. Hell standing at the drivers dor you can smell just a few grams in a ziplock stashed in the glove box or center console. Two Pounds smells to high heaven.



Now that smells funny. Are you sure you were smelling it right from the sealed, airtight bag, and not because the dumbasses just smoked the other half of the stash in the car?



Ever gone into a tobacco store? Or around a big display of cigarrettes?

You can smell it, even though the stuff is in sealed bags.

MJ gives off more odor than Tobacco does.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:01:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Piss poor police procedure.

ETA: And the officer who knowingly made false statements to get the RO and warrant should be firedarrested for making false statements.



Corrected. At least, if what we believe happened here really did happen.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:07:21 PM EDT
Weed = waste of Police time and taxpayer money.
Top Top