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Plano Drug Charges Law Blog

Deputy arrests 2 in parked car for reported drug possession

Police procedures in Texas regarding parked and stationary vehicles must be closely scrutinized by criminal defense counsel. When an occupied vehicle is spotted parked in a relatively crime-free area with no suggestion of suspicious circumstances, the officer usually has no right to check on what the occupants are doing or talking about. The officer's mere hunch that there may be drug usage or drug possession occurring is insufficient cause to approach and make an interrogation.

The Bowie County Sheriff's Office was involved recently in such a situation. At about midnight on April 15, a deputy noticed a Jeep SUV parked on the side of the roadway on Farm to Market 2148. The officer apparently turned his vehicle around to contact the occupants when he allegedly saw a woman walking from the front of the vehicle with the hood opened.

Feds charge HPD officer with supporting cartel drug trafficking

There is a recent trend of police officers being arrested in different departments around the country, including in Texas, for drug charges. The most recent of these was the arrest of a 46-year-old male officer of the Houston Police Department. He is accused of drug trafficking at least 5 kilos of cocaine and participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

The charges include claims that the officer was working to assist a Mexican drug cartel. He allegedly sold firearms and vehicles to the cartel in 2011. However, it appears that the indictment does not specifically accuse the officer of actually handling drugs. In fact, the defendant's lawyer called the prosecution case "weak."

Drug trafficking of heroin and meth have doubled in central Texas

The number of arrests involving heroin and methamphetamines has nearly doubled in the central Texas area in the past four years. Authorities believe that interstate drug trafficking has picked up in recent years, which has added to the excessive availability of both drugs. With I-35 running through the middle of the state, there is an easy accessibility.

Additionally, demand has gone up. Users of heroin have discovered that they don't have to inject the drug for it to be effective, and this may be the reason for a wider network of customers demanding the product. In Waco, police have stepped up their street crimes unit to focus on street dealers. They say that the battle is a never-ending one.

Police: stop nets methamphetamines arrest, solves crime spree

Traffic stops often lead to drug arrests, but defense counsel must view such arrests with a high degree of scrutiny. That is because the police must have reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or other crime in order to make a vehicle stop. They may be able to frisk the occupants if there is reasonable suspicion to do so, but they must generally have probable cause to go further and search the vehicle. If a surface frisk of the occupants reveals drugs, such as methamphetamines, that may be probable cause to allow for a full search of the vehicle.

Police in Canyon, Texas, say a routine traffic stop by a rookie officer led to the arrest of the three occupants for meth possession. The police say that the officer stopped the vehicle for "suspicious activity," but no details were given. The Canyon police chief stated that the rookie's search of the vehicle led to evidence relating to car burglaries in the Hunley Hills area. The three occupants allegedly confessed to the car burglaries, graffiti and vandalism that occurred in what was described as a "crime spree" in the area.

Use of K-9 car search led to arrest, seizure of methamphetamines

Texas law enforcement agencies generally appreciate the use of K-9 dog units to assist in drug busts. The use of the dogs, however, does raise questions of constitutional procedure in some instances. A recent arrest by the Terrell Police Department involving methamphetamines illustrates some of those issues.

The department stopped a vehicle on a traffic stop on April 1 at about 6 p.m. The 34-year-old male driver refused to give consent for a search and the police then requested that the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office provide K-9 unit assistance. The police conducted an "open air sniff" which was positive and gave police the authority to search the vehicle, according to the authorities.

Drug possession by nonviolent offenders does not call for prison

An enlightened article on the futility of the war on drugs was recently published in a noted publication. Surprisingly, the author is the former Governor of Texas and current presidential candidate, Rick Perry. He calls for treatment of nonviolent offenders convicted of drug possession rather than incarceration. The former Governor also criticizes the obsession of the past few decades to fill our prisons up with non-violent drug-related offenders.  

The article notes some of the critical issues that defense counsel and many of their clients understand by personal experience. For example, it points out that the focus on growing our prisons has ripped many families apart, and has left the taxpayers with the huge bills that are incurred to house a prisoner in the prisons across America. Instead of focusing on putting people away for purposes of punishment and retribution, the focus should be on reducing demand for drugs by treating the root cause, which is addiction.

27 arrested in drug trafficking sweep in East Texas counties

The war on drugs is alive and thriving in the East Texas counties of Jacksonville and Cherokee. A cadre of local, state and federal officials announced at a press conference a large methamphetamine sweep and 27 arrests on drug trafficking charges. Those arrested are accused of participating in a conspiracy that began in July of 2014 to distribute 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in the two-county area.  

Authorities, coordinated by the U.S. Attorney, stated that they used undercover agents to buy more than $65,000 worth of methamphetamine. Authorities explained that this was allegedly an organized drug network, that had couriers, distributors and multiple suppliers to make the operation work. Any defendant convicted on the charges will face a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life.

Arrests for drug possession ominously based on food weight

An anomaly in Texas criminal law has set up a situation that is filled with the potential for blind injustice against unknowing citizens. The controversy is centered in Amarillo and Potter County, where police have been enforcing a clearly draconian twist in the state's Penal Code. In essence, drug possession of marijuana or its active elements, when found in a food product such as brownies, can put the possessor in prison for a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life.

It's a distressing fact that under Texas law, if an individual is found with 650 grams of brownies containing THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, he or she will be charged with the most severe punishment for drug possession. It could put a person away for life. The problem is that state law includes the weight of the brownie as part of the drug weight, leading to potential sentences that are shocking.

Texas voters prefer rehab programs for drug possession offenders

The report that the war on drugs may be winding down has support according to a recent poll commissioned by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. One of the main conclusions is that 73 percent of Texas voters strongly support sending non-violent drug offenders who are found guilty of drug possession to a drug treatment program instead of jail. Perhaps surprisingly, the poll results were processed and released by Right on Crime, a national conservative campaign for criminal justice reform.

A promising development is that conservative and progressive voters alike are supportive of the move away from imprisonment and toward rehabilitation. Many critics on both sides of the political spectrum see the war on drugs as a massive drain on the economy. Instead of having non-violent offenders participate in community service programs that allow them to be eased into society as productive citizens, the current system sends them into the federal and state prison systems to be trained under the hardened criminals who reside in those institutions.

Prom date goes awry, mom arrested for drug distribution charges

In some instances, the authorities may arrest a purported drug supplier when the customer of the drugs encounters some kind of trouble, an overdose or attempts suicide. In a twist on that general theme, an incident in Houston occurred in May when a male high school senior killed his 17-year-old prom date in a Texas hotel room after ingesting alcohol and hydrocodone. The couple was having rough sex, which apparently led to her death by strangulation. Police arrested the male in January and just recently arrested his mother on drug distribution charges for obtaining the alcohol and drugs for the couple on that fatal prom night.

Press reports do not indicate whether the mother admits to the charges. Her son did admit to police that he called his mother to come to a hotel room on the morning after the prom to help dress the decedent prior to his calling and telling the police that she was dead. Police allege that the mother had booked the room for the couple.

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