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William “Bart” Davis and John Newmerzhycky were stopped in Iowa back in April of 2013. During this stop, the Trooper seized more than $100,000 in cash that Davis and Newmerzhycky won in a poker tournament.
According to USA Today, the two men had been flagged which called for a Trooper to follow them. The Iowa Trooper, who was part of the Interdiction Team, pulled the two men over after “not using the proper turning signals.” The dash cam on the Trooper’s car clearly showed that Davis and Newmerzhycky had used the proper signal.
After Davis and Newmerzhycky had been pulled over, the Trooper decided to do a Motorist Interview. State Trooper Justin Smith, claimed that Newmerzhycky had been acting very fidgety and nervous during the interview. Smith then released Newmerzhycky, but right after asked him if they had any drugs or money in the car. Smith then called Trooper Eric VanderWiel and his drug dog to the scene. VanderWiel’s dog sniffed the car and found a briefcase with $85,020. After they continued to search the car, Iowa Troopers found an additional $15,000 in cash and a grinder with a small amount of marijuana in it. Newmerzhycky was then cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, which was the only charge that either man received in Iowa. However, the Trooper’s did seize the money in which the men had won from the poker tournament.
The next day, California law enforcement searched both of the men’s homes after being tipped off by the Iowa agent. After finding marijuana in their houses, both men were charged with felony charges even though they had medical marijuana cards. The charges were later dropped and the men received part of the money back.
Now both men are suing the Iowa State Patrol Troops for unlawfully stopping and seizing more than $100,000. Davis and Newmerzhycky claim the search was illegal because there was no probable case for it. There was no clear evidence that the men were doing an unlawful activity and should get the rest of their money back. What do you think?
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*Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult an attorney. Criminal Defense Lawyers with Unparalleled Passion for Success Providing Quality Representation for your Denton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Carrollton, Corinth, Highland Village Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Denton County, Tarrant County, Collin County, or Dallas County criminal case.