Judge Craig Stephen Brown

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A hearing was held regarding admissibility of oral statements Roman made, and physical evidence seized from the car he occupied. Roman was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. A Drug Enforcement Task Force and its members operating six or seven unmarked police vehicles commenced a four-hour mobile surveillance of Roman and the car he was driving. The task force followed Roman’s car from Brooklyn to Rockland County, and one member testified he believed Roman engaged in counter-surveillance maneuvers. A traffic stop was effectuated for Roman’s violations of various traffic infractions, after some questioning, a K-9 unit was dispatched when drugs were recovered. The court noted the initial stop of the vehicle was lawful based on the observed traffic infractions and certain oral statements admitted, yet, it concluded the search of the vehicle and seizure of contraband was not based on reasonable cause to believe it contained contraband. As such, Roman’s oral and written statements consenting to the search were not voluntary and statements and the volume of defendants’ voice was the product of an unlawful search. As such, statements made after the contraband was seized were granted suppression.