TROY, N.Y. – Rejecting a defendant’s claim of a pretextual stop in violation of the state constitution, an upstate judge has refused to suppress evidence seized from a man initially stopped because he did not have a bell on his bicycle, and subsequently charged with a narcotics felony after a police officer recognized the man as a suspected drug trafficker.

Rensselaer County Judge Patrick J. McGrath, in The People of the State of New York v. Claude E. Varn, Indictment No. 98-1176, applied the primary motivation test which New York’s courts have continued to rely upon, notwithstanding the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996).

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