It appears that another of the bar brethren is in difficulties with the law over drugs. Around the same time that a Chicago lawyer was having his briefs searched at a prison, a Minnesota was having his briefcase searched in a courthouse. They found drugs in both cases. Attorney Charles Alan Ramsay, 41, was arrested after court staff became suspicious of his behavior in a bathroom and attorney conference room. The defense attorney (and brother of Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay) was charged with third-degree and fifth-degree controlled substance crimes for allegedly possessing a mixture weighing three grams or more containing cocaine.
Some had the task of telling his client Jack Willis Nissalke that there would be a slight delay as they process his attorney. That is not a good sign when your counsel is given the cell next to you.
Ramsay was spotted leaving a bathroom, acting suspiciously, and repeatedly touching his nose in what an officer considered a type of drug user profile.
According to the police report, investigator, Jay Rasmussen, noticed that when Ramsay left the men’s room he didn’t flush the toilet (unfortunately, not a very reliable profile factor for many men) and noticed that Ramsay was “sniffing profusely and using his right thumb and index finger to pinch his nose repeatedly. He also saw the attorney wipe underneath his nose several times.” This alone would normally create an interesting question of probable cause for the later search — but there is much more.
The problem for Ramsay is that Winona police evidence technician Angela Evans spotted a white powdery substance on a table and the floor of the conference room and Winona Deputy Police Chief Tom Williams tested it and found it to be cocaine. They was enough to confront Ramsay. A drug-sniffing dog allegedly alerted to Ramsay’s briefcase and a subsequent search found the cocaine. It seems to me that the police did this investigation just right.
Presumably, Nissalke will not only be given a new lawyer but an opportunity to reconsider his guilty plea on Nissalke in a terrorist threats case — entered Ramsay just before his own arrest.
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