Charges were dismissed against two Montana men who drove drove through Douglas County on Interstate 94 with 900 pounds of marijuana in their camper last March.
On Oct. 8, District Judge Timothy Churchwell ruled that a cracked windshield was sufficient reason for a state trooper to stop the two men’s vehicle, but he determined the trooper lacked reasonable grounds to expand the traffic stop into a search of the vehicle.
That made the seizure of the drugs unconstitutional and without that evidence there was no probably cause to charge the two men — Alexander Clifford Gordon, 25, of Helena and Jared Michael Desroches, 30, of Missoula.
The two had been charged in Douglas County District Court with two counts of controlled substance crimes in the first degree for possession of more than 50 kilos of marijuana.
The men were stopped nine miles west of Alexandria on I-94 on March 2.
A narcotics-detecting dog alerted the trooper to the presence of drugs inside a camper attached to their vehicle, according to court documents.
A search of the camper resulted in the discovery of 900 pounds of packaged marijuana and THC concentrate, a highly potent form of marijuana. The State Patrol estimated the street value of the drugs at $4.25 million.
When contacted by the Echo Press on Thursday, Oct. 10, Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson said he is “carefully considering” whether to appeal the ruling. He has until Oct. 13 to decide.