Pothead Will Likely Beat Charges For Possessing 10 Pounds Of Weed
An admitted pothead will likely dodge felony charges for possessing 10 pounds of marijuana after a Brooklyn judge ruled that cops seized the massive stash through an illegal search.
Supreme Court Justice Michael Gary issued the blistering potshot to cops last Thursday – finding that the NYPD cops were acting on a “stale” 7-month old gun tip when they searched John Jimenez’s apartment on March 14, 2014, and found the weed.
“It’s obvious [the tip] would not be enough to get a search warrant,” Gary said during a hearing in which he granted defense attorneys’ motion to suppress the pot evidence.
“I find that everything that they [cops] did after they got to the door was not proper.”
Jimenez, 49, testified that he woke up at 9 p.m. when cops banged on the door to his Brooklyn apartment, saying they were acting on an anonymous tip from August 2013 that he had a gun.
The dad of three said police then coerced him to sign a consent form to search the newly renovated apartment and said they’d ransack it if he didn’t.
Cops also promised not to arrest him for the small amount of pot found on his living room table if he consented to the search, he said.
“I signed the paper like a fool,” Jimenez told The Post. “They said, ‘Look, we’re not here for weed, we’re here for guns. If we don’t find no weapons in here, we’ll leave you alone.’”
Arresting officer Hector Justinico testified at a hearing that after Jimenez told him he didn’t have a gun, “we asked him if we could do a search of the apartment.”
Jimenez’s response, according to Justinico, was “Sure, go ahead.”
No gun was ever found but cops did turn up the 10 pounds of weed stored in plastic baggies in Jimenez’s kitchen. He was arrested and slapped with felony and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana.
In his decision last week, Gary blasted the officers for going forward with the search even though there was no “founded suspicion that criminal activity was afoot.”
“The security search, I don’t find that he assented to that. I think that was just done, and I do not find that there was a basis for it,” the judge said.
He also slammed Justinico’s testimony that Jimenez gave them permission to search as “preposterous” given the fact that he knew he was in possession of such a large amount of pot.
He also found Jimenez was never advised of his right to refuse to consent.
Jimenez, who has no criminal history, was facing up to 15 years behind bars, if convicted.
The charges are likely to be dropped following the judge’s ruling.
“I just know I got my life back again and I can try to get a better [job] position than I got right now,” said Jimenez, who works in construction.
Jimenez’s lawyer Robert Kelly called Gary’s decision as a “brave one.”
“All too often, the police bully people into consenting to what is an otherwise unlawful search because they think they can get away with it,” he said. “Fortunately, for Mr. Jimenez, the nest of lies by these police officers was exposed on cross-examination.”
A spokeswoman for the Brooklyn DA’s Office said, “We are reviewing the decision and considering our options.”