State Supreme Court rules police can’t inspect packages

The court ruled the investigators did not have cause to pull the package in the first place

Amazon packages. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Amazon packages. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that a common practice of police pulling packages from the mail stream to investigate them for drugs is unlawful.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports (https://is.gd/xnvEOT ) that on Thursday the court ruled that Portland police and U.S. postal inspectors don’t have the right to flag packages without a warrant.

The ruling comes in the case of Max Barnthouse, who was 26 in February 2012 when Portland police and a U.S. postal inspector set aside a package for him at the Portland International Airport postal cargo center. Investigators had a drug-sniffing dog smell the package and found there was something of interest in it.

The court ruled the investigators did not have cause to pull the package in the first place.