Drug Case Tossed by Judge Amid Allegations That L.A. Sheriff’s Team Targeted Latinos on 5 Fwy

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A deputy on the L.A. County sheriff's Domestic Highway Enforcement team inspects a car on the 5 Freeway last year. (Credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

A deputy on the L.A. County sheriff’s Domestic Highway Enforcement team inspects a car on the 5 Freeway last year. (Credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

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A federal judge dismissed a drug trafficking case Thursday after defense attorneys argued that their clients were arrested by a controversial Los Angeles County sheriff’s team they accused of illegally singling out Latino drivers on a rural stretch of the 5 Freeway.

Defendants Jose Eduardo Carrillo and Miguel Angel Carrillo Garcia were arrested in September 2016 when a deputy on the team stopped their Acura SUV and found about 9 kilograms of methamphetamine in the back seat, according to court records.

In a motion filed this month, the federal public defender’s office argued the traffic stop was one of thousands by the team targeting Latino motorists on the stretch of the interstate north of Santa Clarita.

The motion cited a Times investigation published last year that found that 69% of drivers stopped by the team were Latino and that two-thirds of them had their vehicles searched — a higher rate than for motorists of other racial and ethnic groups. Cars belonging to all other drivers were searched less than half the time.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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