Indiana Supreme Court Tosses Warrants In Drug Case Over Privacy Issue

Feb 21, 2020

The Indiana Supreme Court says police can't search your property just because you take their GPS tracker off your car.

That's from a ruling this week in a Warrick County drugs case in which the Court tossed out the police’s search warrants.

Warrick County Sheriff’s officers got a warrant to put a GPS tracker on Derek Heuring’s car because they thought he was a drug dealer. After a while, the tracker stopped transmitting. And when police went to replace it, they couldn’t find it.

So, officers got search warrants by arguing Heuring stole the tracker. And when serving those warrants, they found drugs on his property and arrested him.

The Indiana Supreme Court says that was wrong. In the unanimous decision, Chief Justice Loretta Rush writes, “we find it reckless for an [officer] to search a suspect’s home and his father’s barn based on nothing more than a hunch that a crime has been committed.”

The Court invalidated those search warrants and any evidence found as a result, saying there was no probable cause to get the warrants in the first place.

Heuring’s case now goes back to the trial court.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.