Jeffrey E. Johnston

Georgia judge rules search of rapper's car was illegal

A judge has ruled that police violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of rapper Jeffery Lamar Williams when they pulled his Mercedes-Benz Maybach over in October 2017. The March 21 ruling means that the drugs, cash and weapons allegedly found in the 27-year-old entertainer's vehicle cannot be used by prosecutors because they were the fruits of an illegal search. However, the ruling does not bring the case to an end as prosecutors could choose to go to court with their remaining evidence. The rapper faces up to five years in jail if he is convicted on all charges.

Williams, who is more commonly known by his stage name Young Thug, was charged with gun possession and drug possession with the intent to distribute after Georgia police allegedly discovered two guns, an undisclosed amount of U.S. currency and drugs including Xanax, ecstasy, marijuana and codeine in his vehicle. Police say that they decided to search the sedan after noticing the smell of marijuana.

Attorneys representing the rapper argued that the initial traffic stop was illegal and all evidence resulting from it should be suppressed. Police reports indicate that the vehicle was pulled over because its window tinting was darker than Georgia motor vehicle regulations allow, but the three officers called to answer questions about the incident could not provide any evidence supporting this. Williams also claims that he was never given a Miranda warning and wants any statements he made to the police suppressed.

When police may have infringed on rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to have any resulting evidence suppressed and the criminal charges against their clients either reduced or dropped. Attorneys might also make these arguments when a search warrant was issued but police strayed beyond the scope of the warrant.

Source: The Blast, Young Thug Scores Huge Victory in Drug Case, Gets Key Evidence Tossed Out, Ryan Naumann, March 22, 2019Source: KTLA News 5, Rapper Young Thug Arrested on Drug, Firearm Charges in Georgia After Police Pull Him Over for Having Tinted Windows, CNN wire report, Oct. 7, 2017

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