Attorneys: Police illegally seized evidence from Sigma Nu house after student's death

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- Defense attorneys for three former Sigma Nu fraternity members arrested last year on drug charges claim police illegally seized evidence from the organization's house.

The accusations are highlighted in court documents filed by attorneys representing Christian Sandford, Thomas Emeterio, and Ty Robertson. In each case, attorneys say College Station police officers violated their clients' constitutional rights.

Police arrested nine fraternity members following the accidental overdose death of another fraternity member in August 2016.
Anton Gridnev, 19, died after ingesting several illegal narcotics during a weekend party for his birthday.

After obtaining a search warrant by a judge, police went through the house and seized a variety of drugs, cash, weapons and cell phones.

"The evidence police obtained in order to support the search warrant was illegally obtained," said Stephen Gustitis, defense attorney for Christian Sandford. He declined to elaborate on the accusations, but he's hoping a judge will throw out several key pieces of evidence including the illegal contraband and weapons taken from the house.

In court documents obtained by KBTX, Gustitis said the sweep of the home was made without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, and any consent to search given by Sandford was "involuntary, coerced or enticed from the defendant." Similar allegations were made in filings on behalf of Emeterio and Robertson.

All motions were filed in Brazos County Court at Law # 2, but a decision by the judge is pending.

"We have filed the motion to suppress the search of the residence like we do in many cases and it is subject to determination at a later dates. We have only been to court one time at this point," said attorney Cameron Reynolds, legal counsel for Robertson.

A spokesman for College Station police said its department policy that the agency not publicly comment on pending litigation.

Gustitis said it was a "sad time" for his client and the other members of the fraternity following Gridnev's death.

"Gridnev was a friend to all those boys," said Gustitis. "Every single one of the boys that I talked to were very upset about the death of their friend."

The local Sigma Nu chapter was dissolved by the national headquarters.

A Brazos County Grand Jury last week handed up criminal indictments for six other members who were arrested by police.