BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - District Attorney Frank Sedita tell News 4 the charges have been dropped against Pablo Arnau, Louis Rodriguez and Michael Kemp.
The three men were arrested at Sweet Sound Music on Grant Street earlier this month after 16 pounds of pot were found in the basement of the store.
Sedita says the evidence in the case would not be permissible in court because police illegally seized the marijuana. Officers had gone in the store while chasing a suspect, and a K-9 officer made the discover a short time later.
News 4 legal analyst and former DA Frank Clark says when he was in office, this situation happened frequently.
"The police officer normally writes down all of the probable cause that he has to believe that there are drugs in this house and he brings that to a judge," Clark said.
Once the judge determines whether or not to sign the warrant, officers can then legally search a home or business. Sedita says that three prosecutors reviewed this case and determined that as no search warrant was issued to search the music store, the evidence found stashed in a heat duct in the basement would not be allowed in court.
Clark says there are times when an officer doesn't have time to get a warrant.
"Sometime circumstances are happening so fast that unless they act right away...for example the bad guy is going to destroy the drugs. He hears the cop at the front door and he's heading for the bathroom and down the toilet go those drugs. So the cop says I have nothing to lose."
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says Internal Affairs is investigating the incident, and no suspensions will be made until that investigation is complete.
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