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State v. Dominic Varnum

The defendant was arrested on June 23, 2022 for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The law enforcement interaction was based on a vehicle stop at Bishop Park after hours. During the initial interaction, Officer Teets with ACC PD smelled marijuana. After the car was searched, an amount of marijuana over 1 oz. was located. Officer Cortez with ACC PD also helped with the search.

After the public defender representing Mr. Varnum filed a Motion to Suppress, a hearing was held. The District Attorney’s Office failed to provide testimony from Officer Teets who conducted the initial traffic stop. As a result, the motion was granted and the case was ultimately dismissed. In the order, the Court stated “The Court cannot find that Officer Teets had reasonable articulable suspicion for how or why Defendant’s vehicle was stopped due to the fact that the State failed to produce Officer Teets”.

At the time of this arrest, Mr. Varnum was serving a 15 year sentence, including 5 years in prison, related to prior charges of Burglary and Aggravated Battery. In that situation, it was alleged that Mr. Varnum broke into a former girlfriend’s home, threatened to kill her with a shotgun and seriously disfigured her face by smashing it through a glass window.