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    Saturday, May 25, 2019-6:15:40P.M.






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Court grants motion to suppress evidence in ‘ice’ case

THE Superior Court granted a woman’s motion to suppress any evidence obtained in “an illegal investigatory stop.”

Remedios Sablan Islam, 51, was arrested by police in Sept. 2017 after they received a report that Islam and a man were smoking methamphetamine or “ice” in a vehicle parked in front of a poker arcade.

Judge Wesley M. Bogdan agreed with Islam whose lawyer, Bruce Berline, said that any evidence obtained by the police in her arrest must be suppressed.

Judge Bogdan said the investigatory stop did not have the requisite reasonable suspicion. “It was unlawful and any evidence gathered during the unlawful stop must be suppressed,” he added.

The Ziploc bag and evidence related to that bag would not have been discovered but for the officer’s unlawful stop, the judge said. The bag and all related evidence are “fruit from the poisonous tree” and must be suppressed, he added.

Berline argued that because the anonymous tip acted upon by the Department of Public Safety was not sufficient to provide reasonable suspicion for an investigative stop, all evidence obtained must be suppressed.

Although not considered or relied upon, a surveillance video shown during the hearing revealed that the vehicle in question had four passengers in it when it arrived at the Royal Poker parking lot, the judge said.

The anonymous tip that there were two people in a red Corolla was incorrect, he added.

At the motion hearing, Assistant Attorney General Chester Hinds appeared for the government and called two police officers and a 911 dispatcher to testify.

 Hinds likewise presented a DPS radio log sheet and the surveillance video from Royal Poker as exhibits.

Berline submitted one photograph — a still shot from Royal Poker’s surveillance video — and called no witnesses.

Hinds said the responding police officers had reasonable suspicion to detain Islam from which the lawful arrest followed.

Judge Bogdan disagreed.

In March 2014, Judge Kenneth L. Govendo imposed a 42-day sentence on Islam who admitted to the offense of illegal possession of a controlled substance — “ice” — on April 11, 2013.