Drugs

Indiana joins New York herbal supplement inquiry

March 11, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorneys general from Connecticut, Indiana and Puerto Rico have joined New York's attorney general in an investigation of the herbal supplement industry, saying they're building on the long track record of state attorneys general upholding the rights of consumers.
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20-year sentence for $60 drug deal reduced as excessive

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
The 20-year executed sentence a Kokomo man received after pleading guilty to selling an undercover police officer 10 hydrocodone pills for $6 each was excessive, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Patients sue Lilly, claim Cymbalta withdrawal hazards

March 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two federal lawsuits filed in Indianapolis allege Eli Lilly’s top-selling antidepressant Cymbalta caused almost immediate dangerous withdrawal symptoms when patients attempted to stop using the medication.
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Zoeller asks justices to uphold ‘Spice’ law COA struck down

March 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s ‘Spice’ law that a pair of divided Court of Appeals panels ruled unconstitutional last month should be reinstated, Attorney General Greg Zoeller argues in briefs asking the Indiana Supreme Court to review the decisions.
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Justices reverse grant of motion to suppress based on pat-down search

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a 4-1 decision Monday, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled it is not inherently coercive for police to give conditional permission to step out of a vehicle during a traffic stop, subject to the motorist’s consent to a pat-down search.
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Search of home of man in community corrections based on reasonable suspicion

February 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court acted within its discretion in admitting evidence seized from a man’s home, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The police search was justified by reasonable suspicion that the man engaged in criminal activity and a search condition contained in his agreement with community corrections.
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COA rules lack of probable cause for warrant makes evidence inadmissible

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that a probable cause affidavit allowing police to search the home of a man suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine did not establish a confidential informant’s credibility and lacked probable cause. The majority also concluded that the good-faith exception would not be applicable in David Cartwright’s case.
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Judges rule counsel was not deficient, drug conviction stands

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana in excess of 30 grams after finding that the claims he wanted his attorney to raise at trial would not have prevailed.
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Prosecutor: 50-plus warrants issued in Evansville meth ring

February 6, 2015
 Associated Press
Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nicholas Hermann said federal arrest warrants have been issued for more than 50 people allegedly involved in a meth-trafficking ring that funneled the drug into the area from four other states.
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COA reverses conviction based on unreasonable police search

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had no reasonable suspicion to believe that a container found in a man’s pocket during an arrest held any illegal substances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. As such, it reversed his Class D felony possession of schedule III controlled substance conviction, ruling it violated the Indiana Constitution.
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Juvenile’s delinquent adjudication reversed based on illegal search

January 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the physical evidence used to adjudicate a teen as delinquent was the direct result of an illegal search of his backpack by police, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed.
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‘Spice’ law void for vagueness, divided panels rule

January 27, 2015
Dave Stafford
Divided Court of Appeals panels found Indiana’s “spice” law void for vagueness in two separate cases Tuesday.
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Strong smell of marijuana makes strip search justified

January 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the man was arrested for a misdemeanor, the strong odor of marijuana that engulfed him gave law enforcement officers justification to conduct a strip search and did not violate his constitutional rights.
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COA reverses sentence based on a ‘suspect enhancement’

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a judge was clearly influenced by a jury’s not-guilty decision on another drug charge when he sentenced a defendant for cocaine possession, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the man’s sentence reduced.
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7th Circuit upholds use of GPS unit on car in 2011

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that his motion to suppress drugs and guns found by police at a storage locker through the use of a GPS unit should have been granted because attaching the device to his car for purposes of gathering information was a search under the Fourth Amendment.
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Appeals court affirms cocaine-dealing conviction

January 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of Class A felony dealing cocaine and adjudicated a habitual substance offender couldn’t persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was deprived of a speedy trial or that the evidence against him was improperly admitted or insufficient.
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First impression: Suspect’s recorded talk in police car admissible

January 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
What a South Bend man said to another suspect while they were alone in the back of a police cruiser was recorded by an in-car video camera and properly presented to a federal jury, a panel of judges decided in a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Judges reverse 2 convictions based on double jeopardy violations

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the state relied on the same evidence to convict a man of three charges after he fired a gun at police while fleeing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered one of those convictions vacated and the other reduced.
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COA upholds most of man’s spice convictions

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday affirmed all but one of a man’s drug convictions related to his selling of the drug commonly referred to as “spice” in his smoke shop. The judges also chastised the deputy attorney general who handled the case for again submitting a “foul” smelling record.
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Indiana senator plans medical marijuana proposal

December 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A state senator says she plans to push for the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Indiana.
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Court properly allowed evidence identifying precursors used to make meth

December 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted an ingredient label and the testimony of a detective relating to the identification of three precursors commonly used to make methamphetamine, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices split over reducing meth sentence

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Justices Brent Dickson and Mark Massa disagreed with their colleagues Wednesday that a Tippecanoe County man’s 40-year sentence for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine needed to be revised.
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COA reverses marijuana conviction based on illegal traffic stop

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer was mistaken when he pulled over a vehicle that, due to a broken tail light, emitted more white light than red light, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The statute only requires that some red light be visible, which occurred in this case.
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COA reverses syringe possession conviction due to lack of evidence

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state couldn’t prove that a man intended to use a syringe to inject a legend drug, as is required by the statute to convict him of possession of a syringe, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the man’s conviction. The man intended to use the syringe to inject heroin, which is not covered by the statute.
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Appeals panel offers direction to abusive pro se litigant

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals has heard about enough from pro se litigant Eddie G. Love.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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