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Legality of search warrant argued

WORTHINGTON -- James Matthew Naab of rural Worthington, charged in early August with possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, made a court appearance Tuesday in Nobles County District Court for a contested omnibus hearing, with his attorney arguing the legality of the search warrant that led to the charges.

Defense attorney Dennis Rutgers told Judge Timothy Connell he had questions about the search warrant, which he said contains information that is not on a recorded statement by the man who gave Naab's name as the person who had supplied him with meth.

A rural Westbrook man who was under suspicion from the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force (BRDTF) was stopped by task force agents July 29. The man's vehicle was searched, and meth was found in his possession. The complaint states he told authorities he had received the meth from Naab.

Under questioning Tuesday, an agent told Rutgers the man had repeatedly said he wanted to make some kind of deal.

"He wanted to try to help himself out with the charges he had," the agent stated.

The man was arrested, read his rights and interviewed in a recorded statement. It may have been after the interview, the agent said, that the man gave some information that was used on the search warrant for Naab's residence. Because it had been some time since he had listened to the recordings, the agent could not recall with any degree of certainty.

Rutgers admitted he is not the other man's attorney, but said there may be some issues with the traffic stop that led to Naab's name being brought up.

"If that is the case, any information that came after that is questionable," Rutgers added.

Nobles County Attorney Gordon Moore said he believes the recordings will speak for themselves. Connell will review the recorded statements, and Rutgers has three weeks to submit his arguments in writing. Moore will then have two weeks to reply. After all writings are received, Connell will make his decision.

An omnibus hearing for the man who was pulled over in the traffic stop will take place later this month.