Motion to suppress evidence in LSD case overruled

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A claim that illegal search and seizure was used during the arrest of a Cutler man charged with having 794 doses of LSD has been overruled by a judge.

Jeremy Cutshaw, 41, will have to face the evidence against him in court, based on a ruling by Judge L. Alan Goldsberry, filed Sept. 27.

Cutshaw was pulled over by an Athens County Sheriff’s deputy on Jan. 19, allegedly telling Lt. John Morris that he was giving his female passenger a ride home. Morris then allegedly gave Reserve Deputy Matt May permission to run his canine unit, Turner, around the car. Turner allegedly alerted to the driver’s side door.

Morris and May searched the vehicle, allegedly finding drug paraphernalia, marijuana and an envelope containing 794 doses of LSD. A small baggy with white powder and more than $2,300 cash was allegedly found during the stop, initiated because of a lane violation, according to Messenger reports.

Athens County Public Defender Glenn Jones filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained from Cutshaw based on illegal search and seizure. There was no odor of drugs or alcohol on Cutshaw and no other indications that Cutshaw was intoxicated, Jones said.

“His speech was not slurred. His eyes were not bloodshot or glassy,” Jones wrote in his motion, filed June 27. “There was absolutely no reason to remove the defendant from the vehicle.”

The prosecution argued that that law enforcement had reason to conduct the stop, the stop was not prolonged and since officers found contraband in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, the search of the trunk was permissible, regardless of whether the canine alerted to that area of the car.

The judge agreed with the prosecution, finding that the stop was not prolonged and since the dog alerted to the vehicle, probable cause was there.

“Paraphernalia was found in the vehicle’s passenger compartment, and a subsequent search of the trunk revealed the LSD underlying the pending felony drug charge,” Goldsberry wrote in his decision. “None of this was unlawful.”

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 24 in the case.