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Thread: Traffic Stop leads to federal charges; all charges thrown out (Police Misconduct)

  1. #1
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Traffic Stop leads to federal charges; all charges thrown out (Police Misconduct)

    This is scary -- anyone heard of Detective Jason Norton?

    Judge tosses guilty pleas over information in Richmond search warrants
    A federal judge Wednesday tossed out convictions against three men who pleaded guilty in Richmond to drug and firearms charges years ago, citing the strong possibility false information was used to obtain search warrants.

    But U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson — noting that setting aside a conviction for violating fundamental fairness is an extraordinary remedy — three times Wednesday wrote: “This appears to be such a case.”

    According to orders issued last year by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne in the Andrews and Archer cases, the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the court that a former Richmond police officer, Jason Norton, “likely included in the language used in search warrant applications submitted by him information that was erroneous, if not false, regarding the reliability of confidential informants.”

    Judge Hudson wrote Wednesday that the three men maintain they would not have pleaded guilty to the charges were it not for the evidence seized on the basis of the false affidavit and would have insisted on going to trial.

    Norton was a member of a small Violence Suppression Team that targeted large narcotics traffickers and violent offenders.

    Norton could not be reached for comment Wednesday. A Richmond police spokesman, Gene Lepley, said Norton was hired as a recruit on April 5, 2004, and left the department as a police officer on July 1, 2013.

    ...

    Hudson wrote in his opinions Wednesday that each man argued he be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea because they were based on false information used to obtain search warrants.

    The judge added that federal prosecutors, after conducting a thorough investigation, did not object to the motions from the three men and in each case, “concedes there is a high probability that critical information contained in the search warrant affidavit is false.”
    Here is what's scary:
    A uniformed officer stopped the car driven by Andrews at Third and Jackson streets. Norton asked Andrews if he could search the car. Andrews refused and Norton obtained a search warrant for the car.

    The search of the car turned up a brown Nike bag holding more than 33 grams of heroin, a loaded .357 caliber semi-automatic handgun and other items. Andrews had two prior convictions, for possession of cocaine and possession of crack cocaine.

    Andrews’ lawyer at the time, the late Murray J. Janus, unsuccessfully sought to have the evidence thrown out because he argued it was seized without a valid search warrant.
    Norton 'asked' if he could search the car, and Andrews said no.

    So Norton obtained a search warrant for the car -- and lied on the affidavit in order to get it.

    This could possible happen to anybody here.

    And what the Hell is the Violence Suppression Team?

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    This is scary -- ...

    This could possible happen to anybody here.

    ...
    And so could winning the lottery.

    What sucks is that it costs so much to get the checks and balances to remedy the egregious acts of a small number of bureaucrats regardless which office they work out of.

    That, and that the miscreant does not suffer personally.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    And what the Hell is the Violence Suppression Team?
    Oh come on Repeater, this is obvious! The violence suppression team is a government entity that values security more than liberty and therefore uses any means necessary to oppress the pesky rights of bad guys that get in the way of their more important police functions.

    No this could not happen to us because we are good guys. This sort of stuff only happens to bad guys. The outstanding officers of the violence suppression team make the determinations of good guy/bad guy. It makes me feel sooooo safe.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    It's Richmond. Richmond was full of crooked cops, still have plenty.

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    No mentioned of what the RAS was for detaining/stopping the vehicle in the first place. Did they violate some silly traffic ordinance? No disrespect to the deceased attorney in this case but this case should have been dismissed immediately... Unless we are not getting all the facts.

    My .02

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  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    No, Joe. You are getting all the details needed.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    And so could winning the lottery.

    What sucks is that it costs so much to get the checks and balances to remedy the egregious acts of a small number of bureaucrats regardless which office they work out of.

    That, and that the miscreant does not suffer personally.

    stay safe.
    Hi Skid

    Title 18 USC sections 241 and 242 of the federal criminal codes will address such acts that you reference from the bureaucrats/tyrants.

    Title 42 USC section 1983 will address the civil remedy against the tyrants personally..

    My .02

    Regards

    CCJ
    Last edited by countryclubjoe; 04-03-2015 at 12:25 AM.
    " I detest hypocrites and their Hypocrisy" I support Liberty for each, for all, and forever".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    SNIP Norton 'asked' if he could search the car, and Andrews said no.

    So Norton obtained a search warrant for the car -- and lied on the affidavit in order to get it.

    This could possible happen to anybody here.
    Well, I don't know about anybody else on the forum, but I don't go around with a buncha heroin in my car.

    Unless...by saying it could happen to anybody here, you mean to say OCDO is populated by a buncha heroin dealers. Ouch!

    But, I know you didn't mean "a false warrant turns up drugs" could happen to anybody here.

    I'm more worried about a cop, outraged at invoking rights, planting evidence. Or, just plain making up something. I guess ol' Jason Norton figured it would be harder for a defendant to argue successfully against a warrant than against Jason just testilying in court about his RAS or probable cause.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  9. #9
    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    ..... So Norton obtained a search warrant for the car -- and lied on the affidavit in order to get it.

    This could possible happen to anybody here. ....
    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Well, I don't know about anybody else on the forum, but I don't go around with a buncha heroin in my car.

    Unless...by saying it could happen to anybody here, you mean to say OCDO is populated by a buncha heroin dealers. Ouch!

    But, I know you didn't mean "a false warrant turns up drugs" could happen to anybody here.

    I'm more worried about a cop, outraged at invoking rights, planting evidence. Or, just plain making up something. I guess ol' Jason Norton figured it would be harder for a defendant to argue successfully against a warrant than against Jason just testilying in court about his RAS or probable cause.
    No, it could never happen that a cop would lie to the magistrate in order to get a warrant of any kind. I, personally, have never heard or witnessed that happening [/sarcasm]

  10. #10
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Cops do not lie, ask any cop...they have a misunderstanding of the law.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Well, I don't know about anybody else on the forum, but I don't go around with a buncha heroin in my car.
    How do you know until a trained expert searches your car to make sure?

    Unless...by saying it could happen to anybody here, you mean to say OCDO is populated by a buncha heroin dealers. Ouch!
    See above.

    But, I know you didn't mean "a false warrant turns up drugs" could happen to anybody here.
    That was precisely what I meant. Just like hitting the lottery.

    I'm more worried about a cop, outraged at invoking rights, planting evidence. Or, just plain making up something. I guess ol' Jason Norton figured it would be harder for a defendant to argue successfully against a warrant than against Jason just testilying in court about his RAS or probable cause.
    Took you long enough to agree with me.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Detective Norton is now Deputy Norton of Hopewell

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    I'm more worried about a cop, outraged at invoking rights, planting evidence. Or, just plain making up something. I guess ol' Jason Norton figured it would be harder for a defendant to argue successfully against a warrant than against Jason just testilying in court about his RAS or probable cause.
    New information from the Times-Dispatch:

    Judge dismisses indictments against three over tainted search warrants

    This is how the attorneys smelled a rat:
    A former Richmond detective accused of falsifying search warrants allegedly used similar or identical descriptions for various confidential informants from 2008 to 2012.
    Norton won't comment:
    Norton, now a deputy sheriff in Hopewell, did not return a request for comment Thursday. He has not been charged with any crime.

    In a previously sealed motion, Richmond lawyer Amy L. Austin wrote last September that the description of the informant given by Norton — used to obtain a search warrant against her client — was exactly the same or similar to the description used for at least four other informants.
    Testilying?

    So, it looks like Norton will get away with it:
    A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office said Thursday that he could not comment on the existence of any investigation of Norton. Reached by telephone Thursday, Austin said it was her understanding that authorities declined to prosecute him.
    Gee, you think?

  13. #13
    Regular Member IanB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    It's Richmond. Richmond was full of crooked cops, still have plenty.
    Everyone calm down! This board supports LEO's, almost to the point of spit polishing their boots. Either toe the company line, or GTFO. You may not make broad overarching statements like these, someone might complain on the "closed-to-non-LEO's" POLICEONE forum about how those meany-head OC guys are talking bad about them! Those guys have delicate feelings, remember?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanB View Post
    Everyone calm down! This board supports LEO's, almost to the point of spit polishing their boots. Either toe the company line, or GTFO. You may not make broad overarching statements like these, someone might complain on the "closed-to-non-LEO's" POLICEONE forum about how those meany-head OC guys are talking bad about them! Those guys have delicate feelings, remember?
    Don't know so much about supporting LEOs as it is more to recognizing/honoring the laws.

    The rules (#6 & #9) that we have are against broad brushing - bashing them as group.

    Most (all?) municipalities have some officers who could make decided improvement. Richmond and VCU/MCV would seem to have more than their fair share.

    Pointing out their individual failures as it relates to OC/RKBA is not a violation of our rules.
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    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Don't know so much about supporting LEOs as it is more to recognizing/honoring the laws.

    The rules (#6 & #9) that we have are against broad brushing - bashing them as group.

    Most (all?) municipalities have some officers who could make decided improvement. Richmond and VCU/MCV would seem to have more than their fair share.

    Pointing out their individual failures as it relates to OC/RKBA is not a violation of our rules.
    The way I see it, though, if there is one bad cop in a department and no one in that department stops his or her behavior and brings it to the attention of the people who pay that bad cop's wages, then they are just as guilty of being a bad cop.

    The problem is too many of them are scared of the consequences of exposing the wrong doing of their colleagues. Having heard first hand from a former LEO who did speak up about wrong doing and his tales of how he was treated afterwards, I know those consequences exist. Just wish those so-called good cops would grow a pair of balls and speak up like the guy I'm referring to did.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scouser View Post
    The way I see it, though, if there is one bad cop in a department and no one in that department stops his or her behavior and brings it to the attention of the people who pay that bad cop's wages, then they are just as guilty of being a bad cop.

    The problem is too many of them are scared of the consequences of exposing the wrong doing of their colleagues. Having heard first hand from a former LEO who did speak up about wrong doing and his tales of how he was treated afterwards, I know those consequences exist. Just wish those so-called good cops would grow a pair of balls and speak up like the guy I'm referring to did.
    We have one with a pair right here scouser. Ask me about it when we meet up.

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    You guys don't watch enough TV. The really cool badass cops have to break the rules to catch the scumbags.
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    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    We have one with a pair right here scouser. Ask me about it when we meet up.
    check your pm
    Last edited by scouser; 04-03-2015 at 07:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scouser View Post
    The way I see it, though, if there is one bad cop in a department and no one in that department stops his or her behavior and brings it to the attention of the people who pay that bad cop's wages, then they are just as guilty of being a bad cop.
    Sometimes the problem comes from the top. As I indicated, Norton is now a Hopewell Sheriff's Deputy. This could be a problem because it's well known that their department has a notorious speed trap along a small stretch of I-295. AAA called them out on it; the sheriff claimed offense:

    Hopewell was issuing 1,000 speeding tickets a month on 2-mile stretch of I-295

    The General Assembly said enough:

    Virginia General Assembly puts brakes on speed traps
    Taking advantage of a two-mile stretch of Interstate 295 that passes through the city, the Hopewell Sheriff’s Office issues about 1,000 speeding tickets a month, according to the American Automobile Association. The advocacy group for motorists says the speed trap generates over $1.8 million annually for city government.

    But a state budget amendment approved by the General Assembly would help curb such practices by Hopewell and other localities, AAA says, by reducing the financial incentive for local police to write excessive numbers of tickets.

    ...

    Hopewell employs 11 sheriff’s deputies working in 14-hour shifts to patrol 1.7 miles of interstate highway. Nearly three-fourths of the tickets were issued to out-of-state motorists who are unlikely to return to contest the citations, according to AAA.
    So, imagine anyone here being stopped by Deputy Norton ... for speeding. After being issued a ticket, he says ...

    Norton: "So, do you have any weapons or drugs in your vehicle?"

    You: "No."

    Norton: "Okay; do you mind if I search your vehicle, just to be sure?"

    You: [What would your response be to him?]

  20. #20
    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    Sometimes the problem comes from the top. As I indicated, Norton is now a Hopewell Sheriff's Deputy. This could be a problem because it's well known that their department has a notorious speed trap along a small stretch of I-295. AAA called them out on it; the sheriff claimed offense:

    Hopewell was issuing 1,000 speeding tickets a month on 2-mile stretch of I-295

    The General Assembly said enough:

    Virginia General Assembly puts brakes on speed traps


    So, imagine anyone here being stopped by Deputy Norton ... for speeding. After being issued a ticket, he says ...

    Norton: "So, do you have any weapons or drugs in your vehicle?"

    You: "No."

    Norton: "Okay; do you mind if I search your vehicle, just to be sure?"

    You: [What would your response be to him?]
    To his first question, my response would be, "I have nothing illegal in my vehicle."

    To his second question, my response would be, "I do not consent to any searches or seizures of my person, papers or property."

    ... and my recorder would be running during the entire encounter.
    Last edited by JamesCanby; 04-04-2015 at 12:24 PM.
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  21. #21
    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    Sometimes the problem comes from the top. As I indicated, Norton is now a Hopewell Sheriff's Deputy. This could be a problem because it's well known that their department has a notorious speed trap along a small stretch of I-295. AAA called them out on it; the sheriff claimed offense:


    The General Assembly said enough:

    Virginia General Assembly puts brakes on speed traps

    Hopewell employs 11 sheriff’s deputies working in 14-hour shifts to patrol 1.7 miles of interstate highway. Nearly three-fourths of the tickets were issued to out-of-state motorists who are unlikely to return to contest the citations, according to AAA.
    didn't Bloomie once say "Virginia should be honored to take (money from) New York's trash"

    It's a well known speed trap, "the million dollar mile"
    Quote Originally Posted by from the above link, which is dated almost three years ago
    The city's sheriff, Greg Anderson, a 63-year-old Vietnam veteran, really hates speeders.
    "Don't drive 81 miles per hour or higher in this city, or you are going to get a ticket," Anderson said
    I-295 has a 70mph speed limit on that stretch, people who drive that road regularly KNOW about the speed trap, that's why it's out of state motorists getting nailed at a higher rate. It's also pretty well known to those of us who drive in Virginia that 80mph and above is the speed where 'reckless driving' tickets are given out. Also, it's not as if the Hopewell deputies hide behind landscaping, most times I have reason to drive through that area I can see them from over a quarter of a mile away parked on the right shoulder at the end of the armco barrier.

    As much as I dislike speed traps, this one isn't a secret. If the occasional motorist with yankee plates gets the opportunity to hand over some of their cash to the City of Hopewell I, for one, am not going to lose any sleep over it considering the times I've been cut off or tailgated or (you-name-it) by people driving cars registered in the North-East.
    Last edited by scouser; 04-04-2015 at 03:00 PM.

  22. #22
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    To his first question, my response would be, "I have nothing illegal in my vehicle."

    To his second question, my response would be, "I do not consent to any searches or seizures of my person, papers or property."

    ... and my recorder would be running during the entire encounter.
    as usual, 'may i help you officer?" followed by 'am i free to go?' repeat as necessary!!

    ditto on recorder as well as my fone...

    ipse
    Last edited by solus; 04-04-2015 at 02:46 PM.
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  23. #23
    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    So, imagine anyone here being stopped by Deputy Norton ... for speeding. After being issued a ticket, he says ...

    Norton: "So, do you have any weapons or drugs in your vehicle?"

    You: "No."

    Norton: "Okay; do you mind if I search your vehicle, just to be sure?"

    You: [What would your response be to him?]
    I would hope that after reading this thread no one here would put themselves in the situation of being stopped by Deputy Norton (or any of his colleagues) for speeding. Keep in mind that there are also plenty of signs in Hopewell that state that the citywide speed limit is "25mph unless posted otherwise" and use that knowledge when in the city limits, ESPECIALLY if their Interstate cash cow dries up, as they're going to have to find other sources of revenue to pay for those extra deputies they hired
    Last edited by scouser; 04-04-2015 at 02:55 PM. Reason: No, I'm not a Hopewell resident wanting people to slow down

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    To his first question, my response would be, "I have nothing illegal in my vehicle."

    To his second question, my response would be, "I do not consent to any searches or seizures of my person, papers or property."

    ... and my recorder would be running during the entire encounter.
    That is the voice of experience.

    Since so many now have Smart Phones, what is the best advice in Virginia for using a Smart Phone to video record the encounter?

    • Best not to use it, because it's provocative?
    • Ask first?
    • Just start using it anyway until the LEO *asks* you to stop?
    • Just start using it anyway ... period?

    Wow, look at the toys apps for possible use in Virginia:

    ACLU launches 'Mobile Justice' smartphone app to empower public to record police encounters
    ACLU unveils smartphone app for recording and reporting police misconduct

    It’s been said that the camera is the new gun. Well, a smartphone without a streaming app is akin to a firearm without ammo.

    New smartphone app records police and uploads video to the Internet, automatically

  25. #25
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Herring investigating Norton

    This could be helpful: Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring is investigating ...

    Richmond prosecutor is probing cases of ex-detective
    The convictions of 17 people who are still locked up or under court supervision may have been compromised by a former Richmond narcotics investigator whose misconduct already has resulted in three federal cases being thrown out.

    The convictions are among nearly 100 involving ex-Detective Jason Norton and under review by the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring, who said they all are presumed to be tainted unless the investigation proves otherwise.
    This seems pretty good, up until Herring talks about guns:
    As a hypothetical example, Herring said there could have been an accusation that Norton wrongly attributed the source of information that led to the recovery of an illegal gun. If that could have been corroborated, Herring’s office would have done something about it, he said.

    “But, to be honest, while the ends certainly do not justify the means, we would be thankful that the illegal gun was removed from the street,” Herring said.
    So, the ends justify the means? And there's no such thing as an illegal gun. STOP saying that.

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