Marijuana

Cop Rats Out His Daughter-in-Law After Helping Her Grow Marijuana for His Cancer-Stricken Granddaughter

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Jacob Sullum

After her 7-year-old daughter, Liza, was diagnosed with an aggressive and generally fatal kind of brain tumor in 2011, Jennifer Scherr decided to treat the cancer with cannabis oil. At the time marijuana was not legal for medical use in Illinois, although a law authorizing a pilot program took effect this year. Scherr's father-in-law, Curtis Scherr, a Chicago police officer, nevertheless agreed to help her grow marijuana in the hope of prolonging his granddaughter's life. He obtained the high-intensity light bulbs Jennifer needed and stopped by the house periodically to check on the grow operation. But about a week after Liza died in July 2012, Curtis ratted out her grieving mother, filing a search warrant application in which he reported having seen 50 marijuana plants in Jennifer's basement. A state judge issued a warrant, which a dozen or so DEA agents used to search Jennifer's house on July 19. They did not find any contraband, since Jennifer had discarded the plants after Liza's death.

Between Curtis's marijuana cultivation assistance and his appalling betrayal of his daughter-in-law there was considerable acrimony over funeral plans, which seems to have been the officer's motive in seeking the search warrant. But according to a ruling issued last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, the search did not violate Jennifer's Fourth Amendment rights. Regardless of his motive, the court said, Curtis had probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime would be discovered in a search of Jennifer's home, since marijuana was at the time illegal for all uses under both state and federal law.

Judge Richard Posner conceded that "Curtis's behavior, which culminated in the DEA's search of his daughter-in-law's house, was, if it was as the complaint describes it, atrocious." Furthermore, the officer's failure to disclose his relationship to the suspect made his warrant application "misleadingly incomplete." Had Curtis been more forthcoming, Posner suggested, the search probably never would have happened:

Curtis was concealing from the judge asked to issue the search warrant information that if disclosed in the affidavit might well have doomed the application. Had the affidavit stated that the suspected possessor of the 50 marijuana plants was the affiant's own daughter-in-law, the judge would almost certainly have asked Curtis what was going on that would induce him to accuse his own daughter-in-law of criminal behavior, and upon learning the details the judge probably would have told Curtis to "work things out" privately—that this wasn't a proper matter for a criminal proceeding.

Still, Posner wrote, "the law is settled…that a police officer's motive in applying for a warrant does not invalidate the warrant." He called that "a sensible rule, though distasteful when applied in a case like this." He added that Jennifer probably would have more success in pressing a state claim against Curtis for intentional infliction of emotional distress, since "there is little doubt (always assuming the truth of the allegations in the complaint) that Curtis Scherr intended to inflict severe emotional distress on his daughter-in-law and succeeded in doing so."

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  1. Yeah, the law was broken, yeah, I don’t think we’ll do anything about it, mmmmkay?

  2. If,I were this woman, the civil case against the officer would never see the inside of a courtroom.

    The case against his estate, on the other hand, might.

  3. If the world was just and good, Curtis would get a fatal brain tumor, but first his dick would fall off due to an aggressive strain of syphilis.

    1. I doubt one can catch syphilis from sheep.

      1. I thought syphillis in humans originated by sheepfuckers and cowfuckers.

        1. Some say AIDS came from monkeyfuckers.

          1. I thought it originated from two gay flight attendants who took a honeymoon to africa and ate some unregulated bushmeat?

            1. Why the hell would two gay flight attendants be eating bushmeat?

              1. Because the FDA wasn’t there to protect them!

              2. Why not? Why do you need an assault-style weapon???
                *narrows eyes*

                1. Gay men…
                  Bushmeat…

                  Never mind.

    2. He needs to have his testicles beaten with his own shoes.

    3. Regrettably, there is no cancer known to selectively strike cunts who richly deserve it.

      -jcr

      1. Kinetic energy poisoning, OTOH…

  4. A state judge issued a warrant, which a dozen or so DEA agents used to search Jennifer’s house on July 19. They did not find any contraband, since Jennifer had discarded the plants after Liza’s death.

    A *dozen* agents couldn’t find any contraband? I call bullshit.

    1. Talk about incompetent. A bunch of cops are kicking down doors to serve a drug warrant, and nobody brings an insurance policy to throw down? Geez.

    2. Yeah, that part sounds pretty bullshitty to me too.

  5. Well, which is it? Was the application “misleadingly incomplete”, or was the cop’s motivation irrelevant? I don’t think you can have it both ways, Judge.

    1. The motivation — “Infliction of Emotioal Distress” — was irrelevant. The fact that the victim was his daughter-in-law being left off the warrant application was what made it incomplete. Different chunks. It’s not really “having it both ways”, since the things are notionally unrelated.

    2. There is a difference between what a judge is allowed to consider when deciding to sign a warrant and what an appellate court can consider when evaluating the validity of that warrant.

      The judge is perfectly entitled to say, “I don’t want to waste police resources and this court’s time pursuing personal vendettas, especially those of such a puerile and repugnant nature.”

      The appellate court’s only brief is determine whether the warrant was properly issued and executed. If it is, they must uphold it, however reluctantly.

      1. By what standard?

        The 4th amendment, if applied literally, does not support the issuance of the warrant. Reasonableness, in and of itself, precludes the issuance of any warrant the object of which is to search for DRUGZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

        In addition, the 4A, read reasonably, precludes one government agent seeking the approval of another government agent in securing a warrant.

        Moreover, even if the 4A supports the issuance of the warrant, before it can be done, the property owner’s 9A rights should be considered and no person has surrendered their right to be free from searches for DRUGZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

        1. I feel ya Mike, but the “reasonableness” is about the assumption that a search would yield evidence of a specific crime. The “reasonableness” required for the warrant does not examine the reasonableness of the law itself, which of course fails by every objective standard.

  6. Seriously, does this surprise anyone? It was a cop. Does anyone really expect that the average cop has any morals or decency at all?

    The only surprise is that he didn’t come back for the raid and shoot her dog. Maybe she didn’t have a dog.

    1. The cop was her FIL right? I wonder what happened between her and her husband?

      1. Good question.

      2. The husband seems to be siding with his wife; the father-in-law and his other daughters are lined up on the other side (the wrong side).

    2. In that case he could’ve gotten her a dog and then shot it.

  7. What a fucking scumbag. May no one visit him on his deathbed.

    1. He’ll be surrounded by fellow officers scumbags on his deathbed. Don’t worry about him. No family will show up, but he’s already shown that he values his fellow officers scumbags over his family anyway.

      1. But now he’s a dirty cop? I’m not so sure they’ll show up for him.

        1. What are you talking about? It’s not like he ratted out on one of his brothers in blue. That’s the only sin that can get an officer excommunicated.

      2. I hope he is surrounded by fellow officers on his deathbed. And I hope he dies in a mattress fire.

        1. A greasy mattress fire…

        2. ‘The Burning Bed’

  8. He added that Jennifer probably would have more success in pressing a state claim against Curtis for intentional infliction of emotional distress…

    Ha, the judge is basically encouraging her to sue the a-hole.

  9. This is just one bad apple. Right?

    1. And none of the cops that surveilled the house prior to the search found any reason to hold off? None of them thought it made little sense to send in an armed team even though they saw nothing that would indicate a drug grow operation was going on?

      And not a single fucking one of them thought it might be better to send a couple of uniformed officers to knock on the door and ask her if they could come in and look around because there had been a complaint, by Officer Cockface, that said she had been growing weed there?

      Of course, none of those would have let them play Soldier-God with a common peasant.

      1. Oh, c’mon. While they are politely knocking on the door and serving the warrant, the entire grow op, plants, equipment and all can go right down the toilet.

        1. Complete bullshit. So you’re saying police should not execute procedure just to get some drug evidence?

          There’s literally dozens of cases where no knock warrants have gotten suspects, civilians, officers, and pets killed. Police need to follow procedure, for everyones safety.

        2. In addition if you mean to tell me that you think you could fit large fluorescent lightbulbs, multiple feet long plants, and soil filled pottery in a toliet in 15-30 minutes I have a beach house to sell you in Montana.

          1. I think your sarcasm meter is broken.

      1. Wait a minute… was that the Osmonds? For years now, people have forgotten that they ever existed and you come here posting your… your.. links!

      2. Good Lord that was awful.

      3. Wow. This is why I come to the comment section – it’s like a thrift shop, you never know what kind of treasure you are going to find here.

      4. Holy shit. That was awful when it was new. It has aged like….well, like shit.

      5. That was the most abominable waste of 3 seconds of my life.

  10. “the law is settled…that a police officer’s motive in applying for a warrant does not invalidate the warrant.”…He called that “a sensible rule”

    What is it again about Posner that is supposedly libertarian? I must have missed that class.

    The law is a mongoloid ass.

        1. You win this time, squirrel.

          This time.

          1. In related news, the fact that this man is not a multi-platinum recording artist is prove positive that we need to nuke the planet and start all over.

      1. Aww dick. You’re a slightly inconveniencing fuck, you know that?

      2. Im so used to my buggy ipad not working that I totally didn’t get this. And no I’ve gotten over the disappointment of owning an iPad some time ago.

    1. Waiting to hear an actual criticism. You must have one or else you wouldn’t have made this comment.

  11. apparently if you’re a cop you can set up a 50 plant grow operation and then burn your partners with no criminal or employment risk to yourself.

    1. And be less than fully truthful on the affidavit.

    2. Truth is stranger than fiction

      1. In the case of his warrant application, I’m not sure which applies: truth or fiction?

    3. It’s good to be the king[‘s men].

  12. He had to have known that had they found the plants and busted the daughter-in-law she would have immediately implicated him in the grow operation, so my first thought on this is how fucking dirty this cop must be to know that there was no chance that he would ever get investigated, much less busted, for his role in it.

    1. It’s almost as if he SWATted her in hopes that something would go wrong. What other explanation for the large number of officers involved in serving a warrant?

    2. Interesting point. It makes me think he knew there was nothing there, and was just SWATting her to be a dick.

    3. That was my first thought.

  13. Man. Early lead in the race for 2014 asshole of the year.

    1. With such a large field, it’s pretty hard to tell.

      1. They’re all winners losers.

    2. Asshole of the Decade.

  14. All this said, the State of Illinois might be wise to require slightly more information in affidavits in support of warrant applications…

    “Meh.”

    1. Wait, you mean you want our brave, selfless first-responders to have more than an unsubstantiated claim made by an officer with an axe to grind before they send in a dozen armed goons with itchy trigger fingers and virtually zero accountability for their actions?

      What third world country are you trying to turn us into, Fist?

      1. Fist obviously hates our brave men in blue, the men who are the only thing standing between us and total chaos. He’s obviously a criminal himself.

  15. This sorta raises an issue i keep bringing up with people who talk about how wonderful the new ‘sorta more legal’ weed-regimes are =

    Have states where MJ has been ‘decriminalized’ cut short sentences of people jailed for weed possession/transport/growing? Has there been any recognition at all of the people who’ve been penalized by decades of shitty policy?

    Or is that whole part of the equation just politely ignored?

    1. I’ve actually heard that used as an argument against legalizing it – that then we would have to release all the people doing time for drugs.

  16. “the law is settled…that a police officer’s motive in applying for a warrant does not invalidate the warrant.”

    Ever? The implications of this are disturbing.

  17. It’s stories like this that make me wish there was a hell. And that I got to stand in as the Devil a few weekends every year.

  18. And this scumfuck is still breathing, why?

  19. But about a week after Liza died in July 2012, Curtis ratted out her grieving mother, filing a search warrant application in which he reported having seen 50 marijuana plants in Jennifer’s basement.

    And you thought your Thanksgivings were awkward.

  20. This also smells like a classic case of entrapment. The police department (the father in law) helped her grow the illegal plants.

    1. No, this is clearly not a case of that. The PD was not in on it, and I’m sure that wasn’t his intention. Rather, this is a case of some really evil family shit. That sort of thing goes on a lot in custody struggles & other family legal matters. People use any leverage they got on their loved ones. No tactic is too dirty.

  21. If the child is dying , why grow new plants. There MUST be some good buds in Chicago. I’m sure a cop knows where to find them. I’m calling bullshit on this one.

  22. If the child is dying , why grow new plants. There MUST be some good buds in Chicago. I’m sure a cop knows where to find them. I’m calling bullshit on this one.

    1. I read the article. I don’t dispute the allegations in the law suit, but again, who grows plants while watching their kid to die. Most parents would have purchased existing MJ and used that to make oil for the child.

      Still calling BS !

      1. I can’t get over this part either. It seems growing plants would be the absolute last resort to treating a terminal illness.

  23. I guess Reason didn’t want to punch both nuts by noting that this wonderful officer was on an extended disability leave since 2005 before retiring with a full pension last year! I guess he gets extra credit for getting the spiteful warrant while he was supposed to be home resting.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/m…..story.html

  24. Dude’s a dick

  25. Well, you know how important the OT is to padding that pension in the final year or so. Disability at 75% beats the hell out of that BS 50% they expect them to accept after 20 years. Ungrateful citizens.

  26. But wait? isn’t the pig guilty of conspiracy? He participated in the grow operation – if only to ensure it was going properly and by obtaining the high-intensity lights. Shouldn’t he be in prison (using his own standard of “just-us”)?

  27. “He obtained the high-intensity light bulbs Jennifer needed and stopped by the house ”

    From the police evidence warehouse no doubt.

  28. So, why is the cop not being charged? It sounds like he was part of the conspiracy.

    I like her chances with the jury better than his.

  29. He seems like a great candidate for the boats.

  30. Being a snitch is bad enough. Snitching on a grieving mother – a relative no less; the wife of YOUR SON – is beyond the pale.

    Can there be a bigger piece of shit than this guy? Says a lot about his character.

    Would Hanks go this far?

  31. Was it Paizley Bradbury?

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