The evidence seized when federal agents stopped a van driven by a man employed by Joplin millionaire Gary Hall has been tossed out of court.
The feds alleged that Hall and his co-defendants conspired to bilk the states of Oklahoma and Kansas as well as Native American Indian tribes out of at least $25 million in shared lost tax revenue.
Investigators claimed that in 2006, the Kansas Highway Patrol pulled over a truck carrying more than $200,000 worth of cigarettes without proper documentation and tax stamps.
Authorities claimed that Hall and some associates were pocketing millions of dollars in undocumented revenue a scheme to avoid paying tobacco taxes.
A federal judge ruled that the trooper stopped the van without probable cause, therefore any evidence that was seized in that stop cannot be used in the case.
There is no word on how the ruling will affect the 53 count indictment filed against Hall and his business associates. Federal prosecutors say the charges, "are not going away."
Hall owns Sunflower Supply Company, a tobacco wholesale business based in Galena, Kansas.