Authorities didn't have probable cause to search the residence of a Gainesville couple in May, a judge determined this week.
Therefore, all charges against Jeremy Tommy Brock, 35, and his wife, Fabiana Brock, 36, have been dropped.
The couple were arrested after Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad investigators executed a search warrant at their home on Cool Springs Road and said they found 68 growing marijuana plants in the basement, worth about $136,000.
The search warrant was obtained through a tip by a confidential source, officials said.
"There's a pretty large body of constitutional law surrounding what will and won't suffice for probable cause when there's a tipster involved," Assistant Circuit Defender Mark Begnaud said.
Begnaud also said authorities accessed Jeremy Brock's criminal history and found he waived his Fourth Amendment rights, allowing the authorities to search the home. However, that Jeremy Brock was not the suspect in question; it was a different Jeremy Brock with a different middle name.
"They looked up the wrong guy in the system and thought they were going after a Fourth waiver and that they didn't need to really tie everything together," Begnaud said.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
"Judge Deal determined that the warrant on which the search was based did not contain enough information about the confidential informant," Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh said.
In two years, Begnaud said he has had three cases thrown out on grounds of unreasonable search and seizures. He said this is the most significant of those three to be dropped.
"I would say a case this large getting thrown out on these types of grounds is incredibly rare," he said.