Crime & Courts

Judge quashes attempt to subpoena Spring Grove police officer in drug case

Woman said police mistook a pile of pistachio shells for loose marijuana

Nancy Pahlman, 59, of Round Lake Beach
Nancy Pahlman, 59, of Round Lake Beach

A McHenry County judge on Thursday quashed an attempt to subpoena a Spring Grove police officer and order the officer to test residue for marijuana in court.

Nancy Pahlman, 59, alleges that an officer mistook a pile of pistachio shells for loose marijuana in her car before she was ordered out of the vehicle during a traffic stop in January.

She wasn’t charged in connection with possessing marijuana, however; she faces charges after officers said they found a prescription bottle of tramadol in her coat pocket – which she said wasn’t hers.

Spring Grove police didn’t take a sample of the suspected marijuana before they let Pahlman off with a traffic warning, court records show.

However, Pahlman, of Round Lake Beach, collected a sample of the residue, which she hoped to bring to court, where a subpoenaed officer could have been ordered to test it.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Ladd filed a motion last month seeking to block defense attorney Philip Prossnitz’s attempts to subpoena the officer who arrested Pahlman weeks after the traffic stop.

Ladd wrote in his motion to quash the subpoena, saying Pahlman’s alleged shell samples aren’t considered evidence and there is “no legitimate reason” for the officer to produce a disposable marijuana field test.

Judge James Cowlin sided with the prosecution, calling the matter a “red herring” and saying it wouldn’t be pivotal to his ruling.

Prossnitz alleges that police never were certain what the “leafy green substance” in Pahlman’s car was.

In a separate motion to suppress any evidence collected after the officer told Pahlman to exit the car, Prossnitz wrote she was “unlawfully ordered out of her car as the result of an officer’s objectively unreasonable belief there was marijuana residue on the center console.”

A hearing on Prossnitz’s motion to suppress the evidence is scheduled Friday.

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