Guion loses probable cause hearing on forfeiture
Letroy Guion will have to win a jury trial to get back his truck and about $190,000 in cash seized by police under Florida's drug forfeiture laws.
On Friday, according to a copy of a ruling released to media late Friday afternoon, a judge determined that police in Starke, Fla., had probable cause to seize Guion's truck and cash during his arrest on Feb. 3 for possession of about three-quarters a pound of marijuana.
The document said Guion now has 20 days to appeal the ruling and pursue a trial to determine whether he can recover the money and truck.
Guion is a free agent who started on the Green Bay Packers' defensive line last season. On Thursday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, coach Mike McCarthy said the Packers would like to re-sign Guion, depending on the outcome of his arrest.
The judge cited several reasons for why police had probable cause to seize Guion's 2015 Dodge Ram truck and the $190,028.81, most notably:
That Guion was traveling in known drug area that one officer described as a "drug corridor" that has yielded more than 300 narcotics cases in the last 20 months, and that the large amount of cash and pot found in the same backpack were strong evidence of a possible drug deal.
The judge said he didn't find credible Guion's explanation that he was in that area because he was just "driving through town" on his way to a hotel.
Guion's attorney, Robert Rush, said that based on cases he's handled with similar facts he's hopeful the sides soon will reach a plea agreement on both the criminal charges and return of Guion's property.
"I'm hoping rational heads prevail," he said.