A Chicago man is facing federal charges of unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of controlled substances, and the use of a weapon in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The defendant was stopped on the CTA Green Line when the weapon and drugs were found. Since the defendant has a previous felony on his record, it is unlawful for him to possess a firearm.
However, the grand jury announcement and arrest report fail to note how the police became aware that the man was in possession of a weapon. What probable cause did they have to search the man in the first place? At this point, it is completely unclear how police became aware that this particular individual was in possession of contraband and illegal weapons.
When this information is not provided in an indictment report, it is likely to become the subject of a probable cause hearing. Generally speaking, police have little cause to approach an individual aboard a train or in a station and demand that they subject themselves to a search. So chances are good here that the defendant has a functional probable cause defense. If he does not, then he is going to have to face these charges and likely be convicted. His freedom thus hinges on how the search was conducted and whether or not the police had probable cause to initiate the search.