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Cops to Drug Dealer's Contacts: Don't Call Us, We'll Call You

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By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on May 05, 2016 3:57 PM

If you're waiting on your man in Ohio, you will be waiting a while, and the more often you call to insist on your needs, the more likely it is you will get in trouble with the police. The City of Alliance, Ohio Police Department this week urged the clients of an alleged local drug dealer arrested for selling crystal meth on video to stop contacting the guy, reports UPI, at least while they conduct their investigation of his cell phone.

The Alliance Police posted their request on Facebook, revealing that the dealer had granted them permission to look at his phone. They also showed that cops can have a sense of humor ... and understand social media.

The Posting

On May 3rd, the Alliance Police arrested Steve Notman, saying that they caught him on video selling crystal meth. They reportedly then received permission to investigate his cell phone, but couldn't get much work done because Notman apparently does a very brisk business. He kept getting calls and texts all night -- cryptically written missives that only served to incriminate Notman, who was already under arrest, and certainly seem to support the claim the he deals drugs.

On its Facebook page, the City of Alliance Police Department posted a politely and humorously worded request that the dealer's clients "PLEASE STOP CALLING." The posting went on to explain that Notman had been picked up and would not have any drugs for his clients.

In Their Words

The police post was very popular on social media and was shared nearly 20,000 times on Facebook. It got 21,000 reactions and about 2,200 comments, which is an impressive amount of engagement. But then, the cops here really did show an impressive sense of hipness and humor, too.

The police department wrote, "We have his phone and are trying to read all your texts requesting drugs and going through all of his contacts (with his permission) but you keep calling and texting and it's really annoying. First of all, he is all out of drugs for tonight. Secondly you don't need to call -- we will come to you soon enough. Oh, and his ringtone is terrible! Thank you so much for your patience."

Jokes Aside

Joking about the posting aside, it should be noted that Notman's granting permission to investigate his phone was somewhat foolish from a criminal defense perspective. Generally speaking, police may not search the cell phones of criminal suspects incident to arrest, according to a unanimous 2014 Supreme Court ruling. The arrest does not replace the need to seek a warrant to search the phone.

If indeed police caught Notman selling drugs on video, as claimed, they would not have had much trouble obtaining a warrant to search the phone for evidence of his drug dealing business. But they didn't have to -- turns out this man is cool with cops. That may not be what you want in a drug dealer.

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