Today in “Things Your Fraternity House Can Be Legally Searched Because Of”…
In case anyone needed further proof that hanging street signs in your room isn’t as cool as you think it is, we have this story out of East Carolina University:
On Wednesday January 16 at about 9:00 p.m. Greenville Police Officer J.W. Wooten was patrolling on E. Fifth Street near Summit Street when he saw from his patrol car several street signs hanging on the walls inside the front room of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house.
Further investigation by the Officer Wooten led to the recovery of 12 stolen street signs. While conducting that investigation, Officer Wooten developed probable cause to apply for a search warrant of the house.
God I hope it wasn’t actually for a sign that said “Wagon Wheel Rd.” Or maybe I do, I can’t decide.
Regardless, here’s a fun fact: few things arouse college town police officers more than probable cause to enter a fraternity house. Why? Because inside of that fraternity house is more likely than not a treasure trove of potential tickets to write, and unlike in a crack house, which also contains a litany of punishable offenses, the officer doesn’t run the risk of being stabbed in the neck by a broken MD 20/20 bottle. Honestly, do you think an officer would have even bothered with following through on the exact same probable cause if the house looked dangerous?
So street signs visible through a window apparently constitute probable cause, at least in Greenville, North Carolina. If I were living in a fraternity house currently, I’d take down any SUPER COOL traffic signs I had hanging in my room that are visible from the street.
And what was the result of the officer’s search of the fraternity house? Oh, you know, just your routine drug bust.
Service of the search warrant by police officers resulted in the seizure of 49 grams of marijuana packaged for resale; a digital scale; 3 Adderall pills; and $80 cash.
Officers arrested Levi Coleman, James Mead, and Collin King.
Coleman is charged with Possession with Intent to Sell & Deliver (PWISD) Marijuana, Maintain a Dwelling for the purpose of selling controlled substances, & Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Mead is charged with Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substances, Maintain a Dwelling for purpose of selling controlled substances, & Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
King is charged with PWISD Marijauna, Maintain a Dwelling for the purpose of selling controlled substances, & Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
All 3 were jailed under $25,000 secured bonds.
I know a street sign that says “Bonner Avenue” might seem kind of funny to have, but a) It’s not, and b) It certainly isn’t worth the police getting a warrant to search your fraternity house.
Lock it up, or you will be.
Here’s the full report:
[via The Greenville Police Department]