Ruling Says Search for Pot Violated Privacy Rights

Jan 21, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A court ruling says a police search that found 14 marijuana plants on a man's property in a remote area of northern New Mexico violated his privacy rights.

The state Court of Appeals' ruling says that's because authorities didn't have a warrant to conduct an aerial flyover that prompted the search.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the ruling cites prior New Mexico court decisions and says privacy protections apply to targeted, warrantless police aerial surveillance.

Norman Davis' home in Taos County was checked during a 2006 joint operation of New Mexico State Police, National Guard and state Game and Fish.

Authorities were looking for marijuana-growing operations.

A search was conducted with Davis' reluctant consent after a spotter in a helicopter saw vegetation in Davis' greenhouse and plants outside.