(Wells, MN) – All seven felony child pornography, drug and firearm charges that were filed against a Wells man have now been dismissed, after it was determined that the evidence was seized during an illegal search.
The judge ruled that the police officer lacked reason to inquire about drugs or other illegalities in the vehicle, after making a traffic stop on 60-year-old Donald Beckmann in March. The officer had pulled Beckmann over for speeding, but expanded the scope because Beckmann and his passenger were acting “nervous.” The ruling says nervousness is not an objective fact to support a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity.
According to the complaint, the officer called in a K9 which indicated that there were controlled substances in the vehicle. The car was then towed to the Wells Police Department and a search of the vehicle turned up methamphetamine, pills, two handguns, scales and other drug paraphernalia.
Also found in the car was a tablet computer, which police say had “drug related communications” and pictures and videos of girls, ages 8 to 12, with their genitals exposed.
Beckmann’s passenger was also charged with drug possession in relation to the traffic stop, but that was also based on evidence discovered during the search of the vehicle, so it’s expected that his case should be dismissed as well.