Conviction upheld, petition denied in drug caseWORTHINGTON — A 60-day conviction appealed by defendant Brian James Verdoes was denied further review by the Minnesota Supreme Court Friday more than two years after the Marshall man was arrested in Murray County on drug charges, then accused of smuggling methamphetamine into the Nobles County Jail.
WORTHINGTON — A 60-day conviction appealed by defendant Brian James Verdoes was denied further review by the Minnesota Supreme Court Friday more than two years after the Marshall man was arrested in Murray County on drug charges, then accused of smuggling methamphetamine into the Nobles County Jail.
Verdoes, now 38, was arrested July 2, 2008, after the vehicle he was riding in was pulled over for traffic violations that included failing to signal, swerving in the lane and speeding on U.S. 59 in Murray County.
The arresting deputy noted the man in the back seat, who also owned the car, appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. The man was later identified as Verdoes.
The deputy contacted the Murray County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, and the dog indicated the presence of a controlled substance. Verdoes, the complaint states, gave consent for a vehicle search.
In the back seat, authorities found a soda can with meth at the bottom. Verdoes and the other three men in the vehicle were arrested and brought to the Murray County Law Enforcement Center, where Verdoes exhibited odd behavior — lying on the floor with his legs raised in the air. He had requested to use the bathroom, then changed his mind when told he would be watched.
When Verdoes was transferred to the Nobles County Jail, the deputy told jail staff he believed Verdoes was hiding contraband in his rectum. Verdoes was placed in isolation, where he was required to ask permission to use a bathroom. More than 24 hours later, the deputy was informed Verdoes had not used the bathroom and had been observed lying on the floor with his feet in the air. After being informed a search warrant was obtained, Verdoes agreed to use the bathroom and passed a plastic bag containing 1.8 grams of meth.
He was later charged with fifth-degree controlled substance possession and introducing contraband to the jail.
During a series of hearings, he and his attorney moved to suppress the meth evidence, arguing that the expansion of the scope and duration of the traffic stop and search of the car were impermissible, that the deputy lacked probably cause to arrest him, that the discovery of additional meth was the result of an illegal arrest and that the charges against him should be dropped.
The district court denied the motion to dismiss and the other arguments.
Verdoes waived his right to trial and a sentence of 60 days in jail and five years probation were stayed pending the results of an appeal. In June, the Minnesota Appellate Court affirmed the district court’s decisions, upholding the arrest, evidence and conviction. A month later, Verdoes applied for a petition of further review with the Minnesota Supreme Court. That petition was rejected, and Verdoes will now be required to present himself at the Nobles County Jail to fulfill his sentence.