Drug Policy

Update in the Ryan Frederick Case

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Ryan Frederick is the 29-year-old Chesapeake, Virginia man who shot and killed Chesapeake Det. Jarrod Shivers during a drug raid on Frederick's home last January.  Police say an informant told them Frederick had an extensive marijuana-growing operation in his garage.  They found only a few joints—enough for a misdemeanor.

I'll have a more detailed look at the incredible recent developments in the case in a bit, but the short version is that the prosecution's case against Frederick is unraveling.

Last June, I reported the possible existence of a second informant in the case, and in an interview, this informant told me that he and the other informant had broken into Frederick's home three days prior to the raid.  Such a burglary would have been illegal, and the police would have been required to note in their search warrant affidavits that the probable cause for the warrant had been obtained illegally (they didn't).

Worse, last February this man told a reporter for the Virginian-Pilot (who then told me) that the police both knew about and encouraged the break-in, and in fact had encouraged informants to break into private homes in other cases for the purpose of collecting probable cause.

At a pre-trial hearing earlier this month, prosecutors in the case announced that they had testimony from two "burglars" who say they had stolen marijuana plants from Frederick and that, more dubiously, Frederick had then called them and made an explicit threat about killing a police officer.  The prosecutors did not say if these "burglars" were also the informants, or if they had been working with the police before the burglary.

That surprising revelation from prosecutors persuaded editors at the Virginian-Pilot last week to publish the details of reporter John Hopkins' interview in February with the same guy I interviewed, essentially confirming what I reported in June.  The details of Hopkins' interview leave little doubt that the "burglars" who broke into Frederick's home were also the police informants.

Today, Ryan Frederick's lawyers filed a brief asking the judge to quash all evidence seized from Frederick's home after the raid:

Police showed a "reckless disregard for the truth" and misled a magistrate to get a search warrant for the home of Ryan Frederick, the man accused of killing a detective during a drug raid on his house, according to his attorney.

Police failed to tell the magistrate that their confidential informant had burglarized Frederick's property to get evidence to support a search warrant, asserts attorney James Broccoletti. The drug raid that followed on the night of Jan. 17 was a violation of Frederick's Fourth Amendment right; therefore, all evidence collected should be thrown out, he said in a motion filed in Circuit Court.

This could become another major drug informant scandal.  More to come.

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  1. Think maybe, just maybe, the guy was on edge because his home had been burglarized only days before?

  2. Throwing out the evidence will make the possession charge go away, but how will this help him with the murder charge? He’ll need to reintroduce most of it just to defend himself won’t he?

  3. I hate to join the radicals, but it’s looking more and more that the cop had it coming.

  4. Dear confused:

    The drug raid that followed on the night of Jan. 17 was a violation of Frederick’s Fourth Amendment right . . .

    If the search warrant wasn’t legal, the raid wasn’t legal. If the raid wasn’t legal, then the defendent had a right to defend his home.

    Something like that.

  5. That poor guy is gonna have to move far away to get away from this shit when the charges against him are dropped.

  6. Oh, and once a judge rules the police broke procedure to get an illegal warrant, every they say or do will become suspect.

  7. This could become another major drug informant scandal. More to come

    Let’s hope so. And if Frederick gets off it will be a rare victory for justice.

  8. Wow, reason, java pop-ups?

    Really?

  9. Taktix,

    Not only that but if you try to block the damn things you block most of the site. Whoever their webtender is, he’s good. Either that or my pc skills are worse than I thought.

  10. Actually, the Supreme Court (I only call them that because I have to) recently ruled that no matter how evidence was obtained, once in police hands, charges will be allowed. I believe it also was a Virginia case where a man was pulled over for outdated license plate (not an arrestable offense). However, he was arrested and I think it was pot found in his car and the Supreme Court allowed the evidence even though his arrest was thrown out for the expired tags.

  11. At least he didn’t fart on the cop.

    Wow, that’s…fucked up.

    It’s getting to the point where *any action you take* will be interpreted as assaulting a cop. Which is great, because then there is no reason not to just punch one in the face.

    After all, same punishment. You might as well get a good one in for it. Just make sure you do it with a bunch of eye-witnesses, so that he doesn’t up and shoot you.

  12. Actually, the Supreme Court (I only call them that because I have to) recently ruled that no matter how evidence was obtained, once in police hands, charges will be allowed. I believe it also was a Virginia case where a man was pulled over for outdated license plate (not an arrestable offense). However, he was arrested and I think it was pot found in his car and the Supreme Court allowed the evidence even though his arrest was thrown out for the expired tags.

    That’s far less of a blatant 4th amendment violation than sending burglars to look for evidence.


  13. It’s getting to the point where *any action you take* will be interpreted as assaulting a cop. Which is great, because then there is no reason not to just punch one in the face.

    Just be sure not to be too passive. That will be interpreted as resisting arrest.

  14. Elemenope,

    I don’t think the witnesses matter as an unmarked gun will probably be planted on you.

  15. Two words on this whole cluster%^ck situation: Jury Nullification

  16. I don’t think the witnesses matter as an unmarked gun will probably be planted on you.

    I imagine it would help if you were slight and/or white and/or female. I wouldn’t try to pull that shit if I were a big black guy.

    And of course it is sadly ironic, because of all groups, it is most often the big black guys that have a good and decent reason to up and punch a cop in the face.

  17. That’s far less of a blatant 4th amendment violation than sending burglars to look for evidence.

    Falsely arresting someone for a non-arrestable offense in order to obtain evidence against them for drugs is far less blatant? Why do you say that?

    To me both are pretty blatant 4th amendment violations.

    It’s pretty sad that the Supremes are basically killing the Fruit of the poisonous tree theory and basically saying “ok, so evidence was obtained illegally and your rights violated?? The evidence stays and your only remedy is to try a civil suit to compensate you for your civil rights violations

  18. LOL!!! Totally passive huh? Like from Harold and Kumar.

  19. Here’s what I don’t get: if the dude’s got a growing operation in his garage, why is a SWAT raid necessary? Did they think he was going to somehow flush his plants down the toilet?

  20. That poor guy is gonna have to move far away to get away from this shit when the charges against him are dropped.

    Do you think anything would slow him down from doing just that?

  21. LOL!!! Totally passive huh? Like from Harold and Kumar.

    The local SSDP one day brought in some hippie doods from UCal Berkeley to teach civil disobedience tactics. Being a general troublemaker, I was intrigued and so I attended.

    Sure enough, one of the techniques that they teach is to “go limp”, which if you are 5’11” and 220 lbs., like me, makes you an *utter bitch* to move. And they did also mention that it counts as “resisting arrest”.

  22. Did they think he was going to somehow flush his plants down the toilet?

    I would not be surprised if a cop were to make that very assertion.

    which if you are 5’11” and 220 lbs., like me

    Dude, lay off the Oreos 🙂

  23. Sure enough, one of the techniques that they teach is to “go limp”, which if you are 5’11” and 220 lbs., like me, makes you an *utter bitch* to move. And they did also mention that it counts as “resisting arrest”.

    What if you take a (legal) drug that temporarily paralyzes you from the waist down?

  24. Don’t you just love the War on Drugs Liberty? Police are teaming up with thieves to go after peaceful citizens in our noble crusade to stop allegedly free adult citizens form catching a buzz after a shitty day at work.

    REMEMBER KATHRYN JOHNSTON!

  25. Imagine moving an uncooperative 5’6″, 285 lbs dude like me.

    Then again they could just roll me around.

  26. What if you take a (legal) drug that temporarily paralyzes you from the waist down?

    It doesn’t matter. They are just going to taze you anyway.

  27. Whoa! Calm down, J sub. Why are you so hardcore today?

  28. They are just going to taze you anyway.

    “No, no, don’t do that. If you shoot taze him you’ll just make him mad.”

  29. Mongo. Only pawn in game of life . . .

  30. Did I miss something? I thought all he was growing were jap maples.

    ?confuzzled?

  31. It’s sad that a cop died, and I’m sure that’s clouding everybody’s judgement…but let’s hope the law can prevail…

    If a cop busted into my house there’s a good chance he’d get shot too. I wouldn’t want to go to jail for that…

  32. Here’s what I don’t get: if the dude’s got a growing operation in his garage, why is a SWAT raid necessary? Did they think he was going to somehow flush his plants down the toilet?

    Even worse, he had a growing operation in his garage that if you indicated the slightest interest in it he would proudly give you a tour.

  33. Dude, lay off the Oreos 🙂

    Hydroxes, dood. Oreos are for chumps with no proper palate for creme filling.

    And besides, you wouldn’t be able to guess my weight by looking at me. Dense, I believe, is the correct term. Take from that what you will.

  34. Whoa! Calm down, J sub. Why are you so hardcore today?

    What do you mean hardcore? I write only the truth.

  35. Dense, I believe, is the correct term

    We’re not talking about your head. 😉

  36. What’s sad is that people care more that Clay Aiken is being Captain Obvious today instead of this.

  37. Two words on this whole cluster%^ck situation: Jury Nullification

    No. Jury Nullification does not apply if the defendant is innocent.

    The facts as they have been presented by Radley indicate that Ryan Frederick shot and killed someone whom he believed to be a violent intruder bent on doing him harm. Justifiable homicide (self defense) is the only reasonable verdict.

  38. “prosecutors in the case announced that they had testimony from two “burglars” who say they had stolen marijuana plants from Frederick and that, more dubiously, Frederick had then called them and made an explicit threat about killing a police officer.”

    Fredricks, on the phone: “You mother fuckers stole from me! From ME!! I’ll show you mother fuckers: I’m gonna get a gun and go shoot some uninvolved cop! That will teach you fucker not to steal from me!”

    Sure, I’ll buy that…

  39. I found this statement by Fredricks attorney interesting.

    “”In reality, the informer did not ‘observe’ marijuana plants, he stole them,” Broccoletti argued in his motion.”

    If he wasn’t growing plants why would his attorney say the plants were stolen? Of course this doesn’t excuse cops using burglars as informants. But it does make me revisit if Fredricks was growing pot or not.

    “””Actually, the Supreme Court (I only call them that because I have to) recently ruled that no matter how evidence was obtained, once in police hands, charges will be allowed. I believe it also was a Virginia case where a man was pulled over for outdated license plate (not an arrestable offense).””””

    Don’t kid yourself with the concept of non-arrestable offense and that was the heart of that case. All offenses are arrestable, it’s up to the officer. If it’s against the law, no matter how little, you can be arrested because it’s against the law. SCOTUS upheld the law officer’s right, regardless of what Virginia said. Oddly Scalia said the officer had the right under the 4th amendment. That’s one for the history books.

  40. If a cop busted into my house there’s a good chance he’d get shot too. I wouldn’t want to go to jail for that…

    Since you already announced your violent intentions, I’m pretty sure the cops would come in heavily armed and armored and that if you so much as breathed, your body would end up looking like Bonnie and Clyde’s car after their unfortunately encounter the posse in Louisiana. But at least you wouldn’t go to jail.

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