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A Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (vol. 43 no. 41, June 1, 2015) article by Eric T. Berkman,  reports that in Commonwealth v. Luperon,  Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Charles J. Hely recently ruled that illegal drugs seized on a bus that had just arrived in Boston could not be used as evidence, because all the people on the bus, including the defendant, were held without warrant in order for a random search to proceed.  When the bus arrived in the station, officers informed all the passengers that they would have to wait on the bus for a few minutes while officers conducted a “dog sniff” of the baggage in the storage compartment.  After hearing that, one passenger looked panicked, and went to the bathroom of the bus where he was seen quickly disposing of something.  A search of the bathroom turned up more than 1,200 oxycodone pills.  A drug sniffing dog later signaled an alert to the suspect’s backpack as well, but that evidence was also suppressed.  The judge wrote that “the detention of the defendant on the bus for the narcotic interdiction procedure violated his Article 14 right against unreasonable seizures of his person, because officers detained the defendant before there was any individual basis to suspect that he was engaged in criminal activity.”

You can read the complete article in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly at any of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries.

To learn more about the law regarding search and seizure, you can search our catalog.  A sampling of our books on this topic include:

New developments in search and seizure law, (Boston, Suffolk University Law School, 2014)

Search and seizure: a treatise on the Fourth Amendment, (Wayne R. LaFave, 2012)

Officer’s search and seizure handbook, (John A. Stephen, 2012)

Suppression matters under Massachusetts law, (Matthew bender, 1999-)(new edition published annually)

The Massachusetts arrest, search, and seizure citator, (MCLE, 2005-)

 

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