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People v. Barash

November 09, 2001

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
SIMON BARASH, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, Bureau County, Illinois No. 99--CF--52 Honorable Marc P. Bernabei Judge, Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Homer.

Ordered published January 2, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
SIMON BARASH, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, Bureau County, Illinois No. 99--CF--52 Honorable Marc P. Bernabei Judge, Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Homer.

The defendant, Simon Barash, was charged with cannabis trafficking (720 ILCS 550/5.1 (West 2000)) and unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver (720 ILCS 550/5(g) (West 2000)). He filed a motion to bar prosecution and dismiss the indictment based on constitutional and statutory grounds of double jeopardy. The motion was denied, and the defendant filed an interlocutory appeal alleging that the Illinois prosecution is barred under section 13(b) of the Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550/13(b) (West 2000)). After our careful review, we reverse.

BACKGROUND

On December 19, 1998, the defendant was driving a black Cadillac eastbound on Interstate 80 through Bureau County. At approximately 5:38 p.m., Illinois State Police Master Sergeant John Balma attempted to pull over the car driven by the defendant as well as a green Cadillac traveling in front of the defendant's car because he believed the vehicles were obstructing traffic. Both the defendant's black Cadillac and the green Cadillac had Michigan license plates and were registered to the same individual. Both cars pulled over to the side of the highway, but the defendant pulled back onto the highway after Balma pulled in front of his car and approached the green Cadillac only. When Balma saw the defendant pull back onto the highway, he radioed headquarters to look out for the defendant's car because he believed the defendant had purposely fled the traffic stop.

Subsequent to the traffic stop, Balma conducted a search of the green Cadillac and found 260 to 270 pounds of marijuana in the trunk. The driver of the green Cadillac, Russell Diehl, allegedly told Balma that the defendant was a friend of his. After transporting Diehl and the green Cadillac to the Illinois State Police District 17 Headquarters, Balma and State Trooper Michael Ross went to look for the defendant's car.

Approximately an hour and a half after the initial stop, the defendant's car was pulled over by State Trooper Jeff Grey on Interstate 80, approximately 24 miles from where the car was originally pulled over by Balma. The defendant and his passenger, Pricilla Tipton, produced identification when they were asked to do so by Grey. Grey then reported to district headquarters that he had stopped the defendant's car. After Balma and Ross arrived at the scene, the defendant and Tipton were placed in Grey's squad car and driven to District 17 Headquarters.

Ross drove the defendant's car to district headquarters where an inventory search was performed. No drugs were found in the car. A white envelope was found in the glove box, which contained a cellular phone number belonging to the driver of the green Cadillac.

At district headquarters, members of the District 17 Drug Task Force interviewed the defendant and the other individuals in custody. After the defendant was questioned, Ross transported the defendant and Tipton to the Bureau County jail, where they spent the weekend.

The Bureau County State's Attorney filed charges against the defendant for cannabis trafficking on the following Monday, but those charges were dismissed on the same day. After the charges were dismissed, the defendant and Tipton were taken to District 17 State Police Headquarters, where the defendant was interviewed by Inspector Girton and Inspector Lawson of the Drug Task Force.

The next day, the defendant called Inspector Girton, requesting a ride to the airport. After Girton drove the defendant to the bank to cash some checks, Inspector Lawson asked for a tape recorded statement from the defendant. The defendant agreed and gave a tape recorded statement at District 17 Headquarters. Following ...


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