Court of Appeals upholds Lyon County conviction in drug case

An illegal search and seizure appeal stemming from a Lyon County District Court case two years ago has been denied by the Kansas Court of Appeals.


The case stems from a drug deal in Lyon County in October 2014. Seth Torres had allegedly sold about 3.5 grams of meth to an individual before being arrested with most of the money in his possession, according to court documents. He was subsequently convicted of distributing meth and using a cell phone to commit a drug felony.


Torres appealed, saying the search after the car stop was illegal and the court should not have been allowed to present the money as evidence during his resulting trial. He also said there was insufficient evidence to support the charge of illegal use of a communication facility.


The Court of Appeals, however, said the search was justified as what's known as a "search incident to arrest" -- meaning so long as a suspect is unsecured and within reaching distance of the passenger area when arrested, the search is allowed. On top of that, there is an exception for automobiles, so the appellate court found the district court ruling was justified on that front. Also, the Court of Appeals said there was enough evidence Torres knew the location of his buyer and intentionally used a cell phone to set up the sale.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 11 April 2018 10:13