On Friday night in New York, a team of cops seized 97 pounds of weed after homeowners invited them in. Not the best way to start the weekend for the homeowners. The cops involved, however, probably got an interesting story out of it. Here’s what went down.
A Costly Mistake
For many of us, this past Friday night was the start of Halloween Weekend. Halloweekend is usually celebrated by dressing up in costumes, going out with your friends and lamenting the fact that the actual day of Halloween is on a weekday.
For one trio, though, Halloweekend got off to a rather rough start.
In Brooklyn, New York, residents of the Crown Heights neighborhood committed the ultimate party foul. They invited police officers into a home where a pile of weed was in plain view.
To be clear, these individuals didn’t just randomly invite the police over.
The Jersey City Police Department had enlisted the help of the New York Police Department in a case. Upon receiving a tip saying that a suspect was in the Crown Heights residence, the NYPD arrived to check out the situation.
When the officers got there, reports say that one of the tenants invited them in. This proved to be problematic, however, as the occupants of the residence had a pile of weed in plain view.
The cops arrested the two residents of the apartment: Yazmin Olivo and Humphrey Olivo. They also arrested the third suspect in the home, Jose Pichardo.
After the initial arrests, the NYPD obtained a search warrant to search the rest of house. The search uncovered additional weed, for a total of 97 pounds of marijuana. They also found stacks on stacks of cash, totaling $931,000.
The Olivos were both charged with criminal possession, use and sale of marijuana. Pichardo was charged with criminal possession and sale, as well as criminal use of drug paraphernalia.
The Fourth Amendment
Now seems like a good time to give a refresher course on the Fourth Amendment.
This is the Amendment in the United States Constitution that prevents and prohibits unlawful and unreasonable search and seizure. From Cornell Law School:
Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
If a police officer knocks on your door, there are steps that you are legally entitled to take to protect yourself, your family and your property.
If the police do not present a signed warrant, they may not enter the property. Unless, of course, consent is given, which was the catastrophic mistake that led to the report where cops seized 97 pounds of weed after homeowners invited them in.
Which leads us to our next point.
If a police officer enters your home and illegal items are in plain view (piles of weed, for example), the contraband can and will be used as evidence against you.
Final Hit: Cops Seize 97 Pounds of Weed After Homeowners Invite Them In
This arrest could have easily been prevented.
Since the NYPD didn’t have a warrant to enter and search the Olivo’s residence in Crown Heights, there was no legal obligation for them to invite the cops inside. While we understand that it can be hard to remember important things under pressure, it can only serve in your best interest to memorize your basic constitutional rights. Especially if you use cannabis, which traditionally, cops have not been sympathetic to.