Defense team seeks to quash warrant in Alexander synthetic drug case

MARION COUNTY — Just weeks before their client is scheduled to go to trial, attorneys in the synthetic drug case against a Centralia area businessman have filed a motion in Marion County court to quash the search warrant in the case.

Kelly Alexander (Courtesy MCSO)
Kelly Alexander
(Courtesy MCSO)

Defense attorneys Steve Quinn and Tim Huyett filed the motion Monday on behalf of their client Kelly Alexander, the owner of Biggies Café and General Store on east Highway 161 in Centralia.

Alexander was arrested in May 2013 in connection with three alleged incidents dating back to December 2011, during which Marion County Sheriff’s deputies raided his retail stores in Centralia, and reportedly found 475 packages of synthetic cannabis during the execution of a search warrant.

The motion filed Monday seeks to quash the search warrant in the case, to suppress evidence and for a “Franks Hearing” to be held. A Franks Hearing is held to determine whether a police officer gave false statements in order to obtain a search warrant that yields incriminating evidence against a defendant.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Department received approximately $200,000 in forfeited assets from Biggies following Alexander’s arrest, some of which was already been spent under the previous sheriff.

The Alexander case is currently scheduled for a bench trial to begin March 25. Alexander is facing two Class X felonies for the manufacture with the intent to distribute more than 200 grams of synthetic drugs, Class 2 felony distribution of a synthetic or misbranded drug and Class 3 felony possession of a non-narcotic controlled substance.

A Class X charge is punishable by between six and 30 years in prison and a fine of up to a half-million dollars. A Class 2 felony charge is punishable by between 3 and 7 years in prison and a Class 3 by between 2 and 5 years if convicted.