Derek Sutcliffe

Illinois: Judge Rules Search Illegal In St. Charles Brothers Marijuana Case

Derek Sutcliffe.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Members of an Illinois State Police special unit found marijuana and an indoor grow operation in a St. Charles home in December 2015 after responding to an anonymous tip.

A judge has ruled, however, that the seized contraband cannot be used in the case against Derek Sutcliffe, 31, and his brother Joseph W. Sutcliffe, 27. Kane County judge Linda Abrahamson ruled Wednesday to suppress evidence in the case, because the search violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure, she said.

"It was a very thorough ruling, well thought out and she followed the law," defense attorney Kathleen Colton said of the ruling by Abrahamson.

Abrahamson ruled members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a unit of the state police, did not have permission from a woman who answered the door to go beyond the foyer at the home on of Denker Road in St. Charles.

She also ruled officers did not have cause to perform a protective sweep of the home in which they saw a backpack of marijuana in a closet and later used that information to get the warrant.

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