Cheryl, unlike most grandma’s, is, at best, a drug mule.
On Friday, October 14th, 2016, Cheryl landed in Detroit on a red eye out of Las Vegas, which is a known, and a routinely surveilled, drug smuggling route. According to the feds it was her alleged and reported “suspicious behavior” at the Detroit Metropolitan Area Airport’s luggage carousel that put her on the DEA’s radar.
While standing at the baggage claim area DEA Agents reported that they observed Cheryl looking suspiciously for her luggage, allegedly checking the tags on several pieces of luggage “as if she did not own the luggage for a very long period”. After she eventually picked up two large suitcases she hopped in a cab and federal officers decided to follow her to a hotel, where she did not check in. Instead, she hopped into a chauffeured SUV at the hotel, with her luggage, and headed onward, with the feds following behind.
The feds contacted local law enforcement and had a State Trooper, accompanied by a police K-9, conduct a traffic stop. (Note that the traffic stop was, both admittedly and significantly, not for a violation of traffic law but was, instead, what is referred to as a “PC / probably cause stop”.)
Once stopped the driver of the SUV reportedly gave consent for officers to search the vehicle, the K-9 alerted on Cheryl’s luggage…
and more than $500,000.00 worth of cocaine was found inside.
When making his ruling Judge Grand reportedly stated that: “People make bad choices when they’re younger but as they get older better decisions are made… Unfortunately, in your situation, that doesn’t seem to have happened. Here we are in 2016, and you’re caught with this substantial amount of narcotics.”
Memo to the Folks continued: Known “drug smuggling route” or not, and getting that I am not DEA and do not see things through their lens, still I fail to get what’s so reasonably suspicious about an elderly person struggling at an airport to locate her luggage? How does this warrant a federal tail? And so she took a cab to a hotel and then hopped into another vehicle. Suspicious? Perhaps. But enough for “PC”? For “an officer of ordinary caution to believe that the particular thing to be seized in a search is reasonably connected to the crime in question, and that it can be found at the place to be searched”? I don’t know about that. Yes, the drugs were found, that much is indisputable, but for law enforcement in the USA the ends are not permitted to justify the means. Our constitutional system does not permit “profiling”, and, to my mind, that is precisely what was done to grandma in this case. So, for now, the old saying holds true… “Cheryl might beat the rap but she won’t beat the ride.”
https://www.youtube.com/c/michaelhaberlaw / http://habercriminallaw.blogspot.com