Judge rules illegal search in massive Mitchell meth bust; 18 oun - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Judge rules illegal search in massive Mitchell meth bust; 18 ounces of meth cannot be used as evidence

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In January 2014, authorities made one of the largest meth busts in Western Nebraska history. Now, a judge rules that the meth seized cannot be used as evidence due to an illegal search.

27-year-old George Valles is being charged with Possession of Methamphetamine more than 140 grams. Back in January, Mitchell Police were trying to serve a search warrant on Joseph Lowery, who was believed to be staying at Valles' Center Avenue home. A Scotts Bluff County Deputy was also dispatched to help serve the arrest warrant. During a search of the home, the deputy told Valles to unlock a bedroom door, and authorities found approximately 18 ounces of methamphetamine in the room.

At that point, the house was secured and a warrant was sought and obtained, and all the evidence was seized from the locked room from which Lowery emerged.

Defense Attorney Todd Morten filed a motion to suppress evidence, and on Thursday Judge Randall Lippstreu ruled that the search of the locked room was not consensual, and there was no probable cause to search the room for contraband. The motion to suppress was granted, and all evidence seized as a result of the warrant is suppressed.

A search of Christin Valles' vehicle which led to the discovery of paraphernalia was also found to be have conducted without consent.

Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner could not be reached for comment.
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