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Thread: Verizon Tech working on tower conviction reversed

  1. #1
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    Verizon Tech working on tower conviction reversed

    The Ohio 5th District Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of the Defendant who was caught with Marijuana while performing maintenance on a local Verizon Tower in Ashland, OH.

    Summary:

    On June 28, 2019 at 1:37 a.m., Lt. James Shreffler of the Ashland Police Department was on patrol in the city of Ashland. He noticed the lights were on at a cell phone tower, and the door was propped open. The gate to the fenced in area around the tower was open, although the lock did not appear to have been tampered with. An unmarked vehicle was present at the tower, and music was playing inside. The officer found it unusual based on his past experience patrolling the area for someone to be working at the tower at that time of night, and was concerned the tower was being
    burglarized or vandalized.

    Ptl. Leah Ziesler arrived at the scene, and the two officers entered the tower through the open door. Lt. Shreffler went to the left, and made contact with Appellant. Appellant told the officer he was in the tower performing maintenance, and was working at the unusual hour in order to shut down the tower during a time when there was less cell phone traffic. Ptl. Ziesler went to the right upon entering the building, and observed a glass marijuana bong in plain view, as well as a container containing a green substance. Appellant threw his shirt over the items in an attempt to conceal them. Appellant gave consent to search his person and his vehicle. Marijuana was found in a container in his vehicle.

    In the instant case, the only fact relied upon by police to establish exigent circumstances was the presence of someone at the tower at an unusual hour. We find all other facts available to the officer pointed to the lawful presence of a person at the scene: there were no signs the lock was cut, both the gate and the door were left open, lights were on, music was playing, and a vehicle was parked in open view. Further, the testimony of the officers demonstrates they were aware they did not have probable cause but only a mere possibility a crime was occurring, and never considered getting a warrant before entering the tower.

    The judgment of the Ashland Municipal Court is reversed. This case is remanded to that court for further proceedings according to law, consistent with this opinion.

    https://www.starkcountyohio.gov/Star...A.pdf?ext=.pdf

    Wonder if the guy is still employed with Verizon?
    1,000 posts 2:52 p.m March 11th, 2007
    2,000 posts 8:24 a.m February 24th, 2008

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyPyle View Post
    The Ohio 5th District Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of the Defendant who was caught with Marijuana while performing maintenance on a local Verizon Tower in Ashland, OH.

    Summary:

    On June 28, 2019 at 1:37 a.m., Lt. James Shreffler of the Ashland Police Department was on patrol in the city of Ashland. He noticed the lights were on at a cell phone tower, and the door was propped open. The gate to the fenced in area around the tower was open, although the lock did not appear to have been tampered with. An unmarked vehicle was present at the tower, and music was playing inside. The officer found it unusual based on his past experience patrolling the area for someone to be working at the tower at that time of night, and was concerned the tower was being
    burglarized or vandalized.

    Ptl. Leah Ziesler arrived at the scene, and the two officers entered the tower through the open door. Lt. Shreffler went to the left, and made contact with Appellant. Appellant told the officer he was in the tower performing maintenance, and was working at the unusual hour in order to shut down the tower during a time when there was less cell phone traffic. Ptl. Ziesler went to the right upon entering the building, and observed a glass marijuana bong in plain view, as well as a container containing a green substance. Appellant threw his shirt over the items in an attempt to conceal them. Appellant gave consent to search his person and his vehicle. Marijuana was found in a container in his vehicle.

    In the instant case, the only fact relied upon by police to establish exigent circumstances was the presence of someone at the tower at an unusual hour. We find all other facts available to the officer pointed to the lawful presence of a person at the scene: there were no signs the lock was cut, both the gate and the door were left open, lights were on, music was playing, and a vehicle was parked in open view. Further, the testimony of the officers demonstrates they were aware they did not have probable cause but only a mere possibility a crime was occurring, and never considered getting a warrant before entering the tower.

    The judgment of the Ashland Municipal Court is reversed. This case is remanded to that court for further proceedings according to law, consistent with this opinion.

    https://www.starkcountyohio.gov/Star...A.pdf?ext=.pdf

    Wonder if the guy is still employed with Verizon?
    I would assume the tower employee has been terminated since using drugs on a wireless tower site would be a huge liability to Verizon Wireless and their insurance company.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by techguru30 View Post
    I would assume the tower employee has been terminated since using drugs on a wireless tower site would be a huge liability to Verizon Wireless and their insurance company.
    I would suspect the same as well however he was working in the inside of the cabinet sounds doing some kind of maintenance or upgrade. Plus a lot of employers have an EAP program to give them a chance to get help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MyPyle View Post
    I would suspect the same as well however he was working in the inside of the cabinet sounds doing some kind of maintenance or upgrade. Plus a lot of employers have an EAP program to give them a chance to get help.
    While yes there comes into the whole high at work as well as being high and operating a company vehicle (ie: DUI). Who knows though maybe they did extend EAP for this to him. As it was just a possession charge not a crime if the century

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

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    This thread has nothing to do directly with Verizon or its technology. Thread moved to "The Lounge" where it belongs.
    Just another day in paradise.....

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    To be frank, it feels like because the cops didn’t have a legal right to interfere, as evidenced by the conviction being reversed, anything found would be fruit from a poisonous tree and the company would have no legal right to do anything negative to the tech, as unless they themselves saw him doing something on camera or by another technician witnessing it, they’d have no way to know the drugs were there. The tech should get back pay tax free and a promotion and public formal apology from the company.

    It’s like if there was a hit and run and someone got hurt. There’s no physical evidence linking anyone to anything, the victim didn’t see anything, and the only evidence is a witness statement from a known serial killer covered in blood who was in the process of murdering some elderly person after escaping from prison from a different country on a different continent. It’s inadmissible because the witness wasn’t even supposed to be there in the first place.

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