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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has overturned a felony drug conviction stemming from a major drug bust in Winona County several years ago.

After hearing Lamont Thomas Junior's appeal, the judges agreed to suppress the evidence gathered by a Minnesota State Trooper following a routine traffic stop for speeding on I-90 in March 2020. A Winona County Judge previously denied the 31-year-old La Crosse man's motion to quash the evidence that argued the trooper lacked probable cause to search his vehicle.

Minnesota State Patrol photo
Minnesota State Patrol photo

According to court documents, despite the full cooperation of the driver, the trooper who performed the traffic stop became suspicious because there were a number of air fresheners in use inside the vehicle. The trooper also stated that just before he was going to release Thomas with a warning for speeding, he detected the odor of marijuana.

MN Court Of Appeals
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The search resulted in the seizure of approximately 1000 Ecstasy pills, nearly 28 grams of cocaine, 25 grams of marijuana, and more than $2800 in cash. Thomas was later convicted of a first-degree charge involving drug sales.

The conviction carries a presumptive sentence of 65 months in prison, but the judge gave him a stayed 56-month sentence and placed him on probation for up to 15 years.

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