Largo Officer Michael Vegenski’s Testimony Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test, Again

Tampa Bay Attorney Jordan Tawil challenged the legality of a search of his client conducted by Largo officers Michael Vegenski and Jeff Losinski.  Judge Timothy Peters just granted Tawil’s motion to suppress.  Read here, State v. Wallace.  Both officers claimed to have smelled marijuana during Wallace’s traffic stop.  Judge Peter’s order says after the presentation of their testimony, “This court finds from the evidence presented that it has not been established that there was any smell of marijuana in the involved stopped vehicle.”

Curtis Krueger  from the Tampa Bay Times ran an article this year about Officer Michael Vegenski.  “Judge tosses search by Largo officer based on ‘odor of marijuana’  Attorney Roger Futerman challenged officer Vegenski’s legal explanation for searching his client.  In that case Judge Peters found that, “This court finds from the evidence presented that Officer Vegenski did not smell the odor of marijuana…..”

Attorney Michael Maddux Weighs In

“The ruse of odor of marijuana has long been used as a basis for law enforcement intrusion into automobiles.  The transient nature of the odor evidence coupled with the knee-jerk credibility afforded officers usually finds law enforcement prevailing on motions to suppress.  Here, good defense work demonstrated a counter narrative showing the unbelievable story of the Largo stop officer.  A fact based formula played out: impeaching co-officer + uncharged contradicting passengers + lack of physical evidence to support odor claim + unnecessary consent + missing odor in CRA affidavit  = vitiated olfactory claims = Fourth Amendment justice.  All summed up in a nice order making for a fine exiting gesture by his Honor.”

I smell the strong distinct odor of something more pungent than the wacky tobacky…Largo PD, time to call the Orkin Man…

Author: admin