A routine traffic stop on the afternoon of Aug. 17 led to felony drug charges for a 28-year-old Illinois man according to a report from the Evanston Police Department. detectives say that they became suspicious when they detected the odor of marijuana coming from the man’s black Dodge SUV. A subsequent search of the vehicle is said to have led to the discovery of a loaded semiautomatic handgun and 23 green pills that were later determined to be MDMA, which is also known as ecstasy.

The detectives involved say that they were on a routine patrol when they observed the man’s car make a turn without signaling at about 2:30 p.m. on West Howard Street in Evanston. Detectives claim to have discovered less than a gram of marijuana when they searched the man, but probable cause searches of his vehicle and female companion were more fruitful according to reports. Police say that a Sig Saur handgun was found under the driver’s seat and 23 green pills were found in the woman’s pockets. The man is said to have admitted to detectives that the gun and drugs were his.

The Chicago resident faces a raft of charges including felony counts of drug possession, drug possession with the intent to deliver and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He also faces misdemeanor drug and gun charges. Reports indicate that the man’s bail has been set at $100,000 and he is being held at the Cook County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 13.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may encourage those charged with serious drug offenses to say nothing to police before speaking with an attorney even if the evidence against them appears overwhelming. Seized drugs or weapons could be ruled inadmissible if police officers have strayed beyond strict constitutional boundaries, but confessions or statements made freely by suspects are rarely suppressed by judges.

Source: The Evanston Patch, “Smell Of Weed Leads Cops To Ecstasy, Gun”, Jonah Meadows, Aug. 22, 2018