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Court: Bluffs police search of bicyclist was illegal


February 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled a Council Bluffs police officer’s late night search of a bicyclist was illegal and marijuana found during the search should be suppressed. The court overturned Keith Sorick’s drug possession conviction Wednesday, saying the officer had no reason to search Sorick after pulling him over in 2010 for not having lights on his bicycle at night, which is required by city code. After talking with Sorick, the officer patted him down and found the marijuana.

The officer testified at trial that he searched the 28-year-old Sorick because it dark and people in the neighborhood were known to have weapons. The court ruled that wasn’t enough to search Sorick, who was fined $315.