Appeals court sides with bicyclist in 2020 drug arrest
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - A state appeals court ruled evidence seized from a bicyclist who had nearly $7,000 worth of meth on him can’t be used because the officer had no probable cause to make the stop.
Thursday, the court released its decision following Jere Meddaugh’s appeal.
In April 2020, a deputy said he noticed Meddaugh riding a bike behind a school in Wisconsin Rapids. When the deputy attempted to make contact, he said Meddaugh didn’t stop. The deputy did later arrest Meddaugh. At the time, investigators said Meddaugh had had warrants for his arrest and had 57 grams of methamphetamine. The value of the drugs was estimated to be nearly $7,000.
Meddaugh was convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. In October 2020, he was sentenced to four years in prison.
Meddaugh argued that the deputy lacked reasonable suspicion to stop him and therefore violated the Fourth Amendment.
The decision reads, “Based on events that occurred following the stop, Meddaugh was arrested and ultimately convicted. We agree with Meddaugh that the State failed to show that the investigatory stop was supported by reasonable suspicion. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment and the court’s denial of the suppression motion.”
The appeals court overturned the conviction and sent the case back to the circuit court judge. The case could resume, but without the evidence from the stop.
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