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Judge to consider whether man's rights were violated during vehicle stop
Ryan Mackenzie speaks to his public defender, Anthony Naro, during a hearing on Monday in Rockingham County Superior Court. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/Union Leader Correspondent)
Prosecutors say that Mackenzie broke into the Troop A barracks garage in Epping on Dec. 30, 2011, hours after his car was seized. He allegedly removed a cigarette box containing a white rock wrapped in plastic before his car could be searched.
Mackenzie would not consent to a search of his car when asked. He also objected to Hester calling in a state police K-9 to walk around his car, according to court testimony.
“As the dog made this action, Mr. Mackenzie dropped his head,” she said.
Hester had the car impounded and applied for a search warrant.
She exited the vehicle and sealed the car door with police evidence tape. She obtained a search warrant, and planned to seize the cigarette box from the car. But when she returned to the garage the next day, Hester said, she noticed the evidence tape on the door had been broken.
Prosecutors said that the case ultimately got solved when a confidential informant tipped state police that Mackenzie had claimed he broke into the barracks to retrieve drugs from his car. The defense is hoping to limit some of testimony about the drugs by challenging the legality of the vehicle stop. Wageling said she will take the matter under advisement.
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