Two years ago I wrote a feature about the patron saint of narcotics, Jesus Malverde, and how cops in East Portland were treating Malverde's presence in homes as a sign of possible drug activity. At the time, the phenomenon was just emerging, but now it seems a Malverde icon is being cited by police and prosecuting attorneys as a legal basis for developing probable cause.
Malverde reared his head yesterday in a verdict from the court of appeals:
Passadore noticed, suspended from defendant's rearview mirror, what he recognized as a so-called "Jesus Malverde" medallion, which, based on his training and experience, he believed was "a cultural icon specifically related to narcotics trafficking in the Hispanic community."
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