Drug Conviction Overturned After Woman Claims Illegal Search by Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy

The woman was exposed during search to on-lookers along I-70

Frederick, Md. (DG) – The Maryland Court of Special Appeals overturned the conviction of a woman arrested on drug charges by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office after she claimed a search for drugs in her personal area was illegal.

Shawna Faith was pulled over on April 21, 2017, by a Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy along Interstate 70 near Route 144 for following too close to another vehicle.

The deputy believed she was under the influence of drugs and a K-9 unit was called to the scene. Drugs and paraphernalia were found in her vehicle and purse.

A female deputy responded to the scene and conducted a search of Faith along the side of the highway. Her underware was removed, exposing her to other deputies, the occupants in her vehicle, and motorists driving by the scene.

Faith was later convicted in Frederick County Circuit Court for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

The Court of Special Appeals ruled the State failed to establish a reason to perform this type of inspection on the shoulder of the highway in the presence of onlookers, and overturned Faith’s drug conviction.