Judge upholds search of Rulo storage unit

FALLS CITY – District Judge Julie Smith has upheld the search of a Rulo storage unit and the  use of a Kansas K9 in a case alleging methamphetamine possession by 46-year-old Tracy Griffin of White Cloud.

Defense Attorney Allen Fankhauser had asked the court to exclude evidence taken from the storage unit saying a Richardson County sheriff’s deputy obtained a search warrant without telling the county judge whether the K9 was certified in Nebraska.

Fankhauser also said the search warrant was invalid because it was based on false information.

Judge Smith said while the deputy did tell the judge about an informant who claimed he was manager of the storage units, the deputy did not learn until later that the informant only worked periodically at the location in exchange for rent on a unit.  The the sheriff’s office did not investigate the truthfulness of the informant, but the judge said deputies did not seek a search warrant until they had verified the information for themselves.

She said the Richardson County deputies had no reason to question the certification of the K9 because the deputy and the dog were working for the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. Richardson County Attorney Samantha Scheitel said the K9 is certified for work in Nebraska.

Griffin is scheduled for pre-trial conference on Aug. 10.

Daniel Clary, 48, of Falls City is also charged with delivery of methamphetamine based on the search of the storage unit. He is scheduled for a hearing on July 13.

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