The traffic stop may be one of the most controversial elements of any issue between Illinois residents and law enforcement officers. Officers only need reasonable suspicion to initiate a stop, but they need probable cause in order to go beyond a limited investigation. Without it, any search of your vehicle may not stand up in court if you end up facing charges for drug crimes because of being pulled over by police.
This could be an issue in the case of two men who recently got pulled over by law enforcement here in Illinois. As the two traveled on Interstate 280, an officer stopped them. Reportedly, the officer received training in interstate drug trafficking. He called in a K-9 unit with the Illinois State Police.
The dog conducted an exterior search of the vehicle that officers say alerted them to the presence of drugs. The vehicle was then searched. Officers say they found approximately 2 kilos of a substance they believed to be black tar heroin in the rented vehicle's spare tire. The two men, who are from Ohio, had rented the vehicle in California and were on their way back to Ohio when the stop occurred. Before prosecutors can secure any convictions for drug crimes, several steps will need to be taken.
First, officials will need to determine whether the substance was actually black tar heroin, whether these two individual's placed it in the vehicle and that police did not violate their rights at any point from the moment they were pulled over by the officer. Most criminal defense attorneys begin by asking these questions under similar circumstances. In fact, anyone who faces drug crimes after a traffic stop would benefit from enlisting the assistance of an attorney as soon as possible in order to evaluate the supposed evidence and determine the course of action most likely to result in a beneficial outcome.
Source: wqad.com, "Pair of alleged heroin dealers busted on Interstate 280 in Moline", Tory Brecht, Sept. 15, 2017