ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Charges were dismissed against two Montana men who 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 vehicle, but he 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 probable cause to charge the two men — Alexander Clifford Gordon, 25, of Helena, and Jared Michael Desroches, 30, of Missoula.
The two were charged in Douglas County District Court with two counts of controlled substance crimes in the first degree for possession of more than 900 pounds 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. The State Patrol estimated the street value of the drugs at $4.25 million.