Carson County 1st Degree Felony Money Laundering Case Dismissed
Mr. Lowe’s client was targeted by State Trooper Danny Dawson as he was travelling west bound on I-40 through Carson County, Texas. Trooper Dawson stated in his arrest report that Mr. Lowe’s client was following too closely (Texas Transportation Code 545.062)and changed lanes without signalling (Texas Transportation Code 545.104) as the probable cause reasons for stopping him. Mr. Lowe’s client was travelling with out of state license plates and had a female passenger with him. The vehicle he was driving didn’t belong to him and he had a lengthy criminal history which included several prior drug related arrests.
Trooper Dawson conduct an extensive roadside and squad car interview with Mr. Lowe’s client. After asking Mr. Lowe’s client numerous questions about his background, criminal history and travel plans, Trooper Dawson suspected that the client was engaged in drug trafficking or money laundering activities. Trooper Dawson then issued a warning and requested consent to search the vehicle. Mr. Lowe’s client denied consent. Based on several factors in his report including nervousness and unconfirmed vehicle registration, Trooper Dawson suspected the client to be involved in drug trafficking or money laundering activity. Trooper Dawson requested that a K9 unit arrive at the scene to conduct a “free air sniff.” Several minutes later the K9 unit arrived with the trained drug detection dog and alerted on the vehicle. Troopers then searched the entire vehicle including the trunk area.
Inside the trunk, Trooper Dawson found an access plate to a hidden compartment. Inside the false compartment Trooper Dawson found 16 bundles of U.S. currency. The final money count yielded $460,150.00. Mr. Lowe’s client was arrested and charged with Money Laundering in an amount more than $200,000, which is a 1st degree felony Texas Penal Code 34.02. Mr. Lowe’s client faced 5 to Life in the Texas penitentiary. Because Mr. Lowe’s client had a prior felony conviction, he would not be eligible for probation from a jury.
After Mr. Lowe obtained the stop videos and all police reports, he filed a Motion to Suppress Illegally Obtained Evidence based on Rodriguez v. United States. The Motion alleged that Trooper Dawson did not possess sufficient facts to extend his client’s detention beyond the time necessary to issue a traffic stop warning. Mr. Lowe set his Motion for a hearing. Shortly before the hearing date, Mr. Lowe was able to persuade the 100th District Attorney for Hall, Donley, Childress and Carson Counties, Luke Inman, to flat dismiss the case. Mr. Inman agreed to dismiss. Mr. Lowe has filed a petition to expunge his client’s record.
Mr. Lowe has represented numerous clients in West Texas and throughout Texas on similar drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Mr. Lowe has put to together a video guide for people stopped by Texas Troopers and other police officers on how to conduct themselves when made the subject of a narcotics investigation. You can see it here:
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