Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2012, 9:49 pm
Judge throws out traffic stop for man facing drug charges
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By Lisa Hammer, firstname.lastname@example.org
CAMBRIDGE -- Judge Charles "Casey" Stengel on Tuesday threw out a March 9 traffic stop in which a state trooper pulled over a BMW for traveling too closely and found 35 pounds of marijuana in a false compartment in the trunk.
Jeremy Gray, 24, of Hyattville, Md., had been charged with Class X cannabis trafficking, Class X felony possession with intent to deliver and Class 1 felony possession of cannabis.
His attorney, Fred Morelli Jr., of Aurora, argued that the trooper precipitated the traffic stop by pulling out and gaining on his client, and Mr. Gray was pulling behind a semi into the right-hand lane to get out of the way.
Co-defendant Robert Windover, 24, of Sebastopol, Calif., entered a negotiated guilty plea in July to Class X felony possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years mandatory supervised release, as well as a $175,000 street value fine. Mr. Windover was in the back seat of the car at the time of the stop.
After watching a video of the stop, the judge said Mr. Gray was too far ahead of Trooper Andrew Fratzke for the trooper to be able to tell how closely the BMW was to a semi ahead of him.
Mr. Gray is free on $20,000 bond posted on March 13. A Jan. 17 hearing was scheduled to determine if the State's Attorney's office will appeal the ruling.