Pompton Lakes Police marijuana search destroys car, could cost taxpayers

Even if GEICO had saved Darren Richardson of Wanaque 15 percent on his car insurance, this time it wouldn’t have helped enough. Richardson, 28, had been charged with disorderly conduct after arguing with Pompton Lakes police during a routine traffic stop. The officers had claimed to detect the smell of marijuana from Richardson’s car, and his 2004 BMW 325i was impounded. According to NJ.com, police used drug-sniffing dogs and drug enforcement experts to determine if marijuana was hidden in the BMW. All of the police searches found nothing in the way of drugs, but the car was partly disassembled and could not be driven.

Richardson received his car back three weeks later. UPI.com reported that when he submitted a claim to his insurance company GEICO, their total for damages came to $12,636.42, and they called the car a “total loss.” Jalopnik.com reports that Richardson has filed a claim against the Pompton Lakes Police Department for malicious prosecution and false arrest, and GEICO may sue to regain what they paid out in the claim. NJ.com reported that police reports said all charges against Richardson and a passenger have been downgraded to disorderly persons offenses, and will be heard in municipal court. Experts called the police search “excessive.”

via : http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com

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