Alleged drug evidence against Dover man tossed

Johan Rodriguez

DOVER — Acting on an invalid arrest warrant and informant’s tip on June 9, according to a judge, a Dover Police officer had no probable cause to arrest a 32-year-old man on drug charges.

While authorities believed Johan Rodriguez, of the first block of Courtside Drive in Dover, was wanted on an outstanding warrant, the matter had already been cleared on May 23, according to a seven-page opinion decided on Wednesday.

Now, the drugs involved can’t be presented as evidence against Mr. Rodriguez, Kent County Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young ruled.

The court found that an informant’s tip about Mr. Rodriguez alone was not enough to make an apprehension and arrest. Police acted on the tip about a week later, believing the defendant was a fugitive on an active warrant.

Mr. Rodriguez was allegedly found with 2.1 grams of crack cocaine and .96 grams of heroin, according to police, and charged with possession to intent to deliver crack cocaine and heroin, violation of probation, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to police, the informant had proven reliable before, and described Mr. Rodriguez clothing and whereabouts, and indicated he was in possession of controlled substances on the day of his arrest.

The Dover PD Street Crimes Unit teamed with Delaware Probation and Parole to arrest Rodriguez at 8:54 p.m. in an alley behind Green Blade Drive. He was apprehended without incident and committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna for lack of $5,250 secured bond.

Deputy Attorney General Greg Babowal argued the matter for the prosecution, while attorney Anthony Capone represented Mr. Rodriguez.

On May 2, police said Mr. Rodriguez was a fugitive when located in the attic of a home and taken into custody without further incident. He was wanted at the time for violation of probation regarding a probation check in February, authorities said, and held at JTVCC on $32,000 secured bond.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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