Illinois Supreme Court Finds Probable Cause for Drug Arrest for Yelling of One Word
Previously I posted about an Illinois appellate court case that upheld probable cause to arrest someone for soliciting unlawful business on a public way under the Chicago Municipal Code, /2/category/probable%20cause/1.html. In that case, People v. Neal (No. 1-09-2814) https://www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2011/1stDistrict/June/1092814.pdf, the First District upheld a search which resulted in an arrest for possession of heroin.
Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in a similar manner in People v. Ronnie Grant, (No. 112734), 2013 IL 112734, https://www.state.il.us/court/opinions/SupremeCourt/2013/112734.pdf. In Grant, a Chicago Police Officer testified that he observed the defendant in a highly known narcotics sales area yelling the words “dro dro” to a passing vehicle. the officer testified that from his experience the phrase “dro dro” meant cannabis for sale.
The defendant was arrested for violating Section 10-8-515 of the Chicago Municipal Code, making it illegal to solicit any unlawful business, including sale of narcotics, on a public way. Subsequent custodial searches of the defendant revealed four plastic bags of marijuana a a plastic bag of cocaine.
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the search was valid and agreed with the State that the “facts known to police at the time of defendant’s arrest provided them with reasonable grounds to believe defendant was committing a criminal offense, the soliciting of unlawful business, and thus constituted probable cause for the defendant’s arrest.”
Lori G. Levin
Attorney at Law
180 N. LaSalle, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60601