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2 Montana men caught with 900 lbs of pot worth $4.2M set free over illegal search

Two Montana men who were arrested while driving through Minnesota pulling a camper with more than $4 million worth of marijuana in it have had all charges dropped after a judge ruled that the search of the vehicle and seizure of the pot was illegally conducted by the officer.

Alexander Gordon, 24, of Helena, Montana and Jared Desroches, 30, of Missoula, Montana were charged in March with possessing over 900 pounds of marijuana, which had a street value of roughly $4.25 million, according to authorities.

State Trooper Aaron Myrenhad pulled the two men over for a cracked windshield and unsteady driving. The dash-cam in his patrol car contradicted his statements and proved pivotal in getting the defendants’ charges dropped.

Myren had testified that the pickup the two men were in was weaving across the fog-line as he trailed it. But, according to lawyers representing Gordon and Desroches, “The squad video, which essentially records from the same vantage point as Myren’s, shows that the pickup never crossed the fog-line — it merely touched it once for a fraction of a second and proceeded flawlessly for a substantial distance before Myren pulled it over.”

District Judge Timothy Churchwell ruled that the cracked windshield was sufficient cause to stop the vehicle, but he found that Myren lacked reasonable grounds to expand the traffic stop into a search of the vehicle. Thus, the drug seizure was unconstitutional and the evidence must be suppressed.

Without that evidence, there was no probable cause to charge the two men, so Churchwell dismissed the charges.

Also found in the camper were 406 one-gram packages of THC concentrate, 112 glass jars containing THC wax, and $15,500 in cash. The men were mules, being paid $30,000 to move the drugs.