Motion to continue trial filed in drug case

By Nick Walton -

A motion to continue a jury trial scheduled for this month was filed last week in the case of a man facing multiple drug and weapon charges.

In the case of Michael D. Ropp, a motion to continue the trial as well as a motion to suppress evidence was filed on Friday.

Ropp, 43, is charged with two counts of having weapons while under disability and one each of aggravated trafficking in drugs, aggravated possession of drugs, tampering with evidence, unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance and possessing a defaced firearm, in addition to multiple specifications for six of the seven charges stemming from a March 9 drug raid.

In the motion to continue, filed by attorney Daniel Bennett, the defense requests the court vacate the trial scheduled for June 27 and 28 and reschedule it for a later date in order for the parties and court to schedule and hear a motion to suppress evidence.

During a final pretrial conference hearing on June 5, the court was informed the parties had discussed a resolution to eliminate the need for a trial but had not been able to reach an agreement.

In the motion to suppress evidence, Bennett states the defense is seeking an order suppressing all evidence obtained by what they contend was an illegal search of Ropp’s property as a result of a search warrant obtained applied for on March 8 and executed on March 9.

On that date, law enforcement personnel from multiple agencies responded to Ropp’s East Dallas Road residence to execute a search warrant.

According to a court statement filed in the Champaign County Municipal Court, as law enforcement ordered Ropp from the residence, a man identified as Ropp was seen running around the house and ignoring the commands of officers.

After Ropp was told to exit the residence, officials noticed white smoke coming from a fireplace vent for 25 minutes before Ropp exited the rear basement door with his hands up.

A search of the residence resulted in law enforcement seizing items, including a metal box that had something inside that had been burned to ashes, a short sawed-off shotgun with the serial number filed off, a revolver and a plastic grocery bag containing three bags of crystal material.

As part of the motion to suppress evidence, the defense is requesting a hearing on this motion. In addition to the two motions, a waiver of speedy trial was also filed on June 9.

By Nick Walton

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.