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Appeals court upholds ruling to suppress evidence in N.D. case

FARGO -- An appeals court says drug evidence obtained in a warrantless search of a North Dakota hotel room cannot be used in trial. Manuel and Michelle Quintero are charged in federal court with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute met...

FARGO -- An appeals court says drug evidence obtained in a warrantless search of a North Dakota hotel room cannot be used in trial.

Manuel and Michelle Quintero are charged in federal court with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. They have pleaded not guilty.

Court documents show that officers found a syringe needle and Ziploc baggies during a search of a hotel room in Hankinson where the Quinteros where staying in September 2009.

A search warrant was obtained the next day and police found 200 grams of meth.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling by a district judge that Michelle Quintero did not voluntarily consent to the search, and the evidence should be thrown out.

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Prosecutors had no comment on the ruling.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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