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Plano Drug Charges Law Blog

Drug possession, sale charges are based on 817 marijuana plants

Law enforcement officials in Texas are still for the most part operating on the premise that the growing, use and sale of marijuana is a major public danger requiring strict enforcement efforts. That fact surfaced in Cooke County very recently when authorities seized what they alleged to be $4 million worth of marijuana plants in a home and arrested a male resident for drug possession, manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance. Reportedly, they seized about 817 marijuana plants in various stages of growth.

Neighbors who were interviewed expressed surprise and stated that the 55-year-old suspect pretty much stayed to himself. Authorities touted the seizure as the "largest drug bust" in county history. The Sheriff also pointed to the large seizure of marijuana as proof of what his office can do to "curb the illegal drug activity" in the county.

Drug possession charged after traffic stop for no license plate

In Texas as well as elsewhere, the transportation of controlled substances in a vehicle is fraught with hazards for the perpetrator. Under those circumstances, basic common sense dictates that a person would not want to be pulled over for a traffic stop. Nonetheless, in Texas and all other states, a substantial portion of drug possession and other drug arrests come in the aftermath of a routine traffic stop by police.

Indeed, those kinds of drug arrests are so numerous that some criminal defense attorneys and civil rights groups have accused the police of making traffic stops of suspicious looking people just to provide a reason to look for drugs. That phenomena is part of the general criticism that the police tend to use racial profiling in their investigative functions. Thus, for example, it is sometimes argued that they pick the suspect by racial and other prejudicial characteristics first, and then they create the justification for the stop, such as reporting that it was based on the appearance of a traffic violation.

Feds nab 28 on drug distribution charges for synthetic marijuana

Federal authorities in Texas have taken hard-hitting action against the owners, managers and some employees of the Gas Pipe head shop, a business that has operated in the state for the past 45 years and has employed about 200 people. The reason is that the Gas Pipe stores are allegedly selling a "spice" product that the authorities refer to as synthetic marijuana. To date, some 28 people have been charged with drug distribution charges relating to the alleged substance.

The U.S. Attorney based in Dallas has also filed for forfeiture of over $20 million in assets owned by the Gas Pipe business, including aircraft, head shop locations and a business owner's home. The forfeiture laws have been strongly criticized as violating the constitutional mandates of due process. At this point, the assets are generally considered seized and yet the government has not had to prove in any way that these properties were instrumental in the trafficking of synthetic marijuana.

Drug possession bills would decriminalize or legalize marijuana

In Texas, possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana is currently a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Several state legislators are working on trying to decriminalize or legalize the drug. Drug possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana would have no jail time or criminal record under a proposal that was recently defeated by the state House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

The proposal would make possession of marijuana up to 1 ounce a civil infraction, payable by a $100 fine. That proposal, called HB 507, may yet be resurrected before the end of the legislative session. It has 40 bipartisan co-sponsors and is said to have the best chance of several bills presented.

Entrapment can be a defense if drug possession sting is coercive

It seems to be true that when it rains, it pours. Thus, it's not surprising that there is another report of the arrest of a law enforcement officer who is accused of involvement in drug possession and trafficking. The national rash of such arrest reports has been concentrated to some extent in the southwest border areas, including in Texas.  

The latest arrest involves a drug crimes investigator and member of the Starr County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HITDA). The 29-year-old is an investigator with the Rio Grande City police force. He was appointed to HITDA four years ago, according to the Rio Grande police chief. He was arrested by federal agents for conspiracy to possess and distribute 10 kilos of cocaine.

Dad, 2 sons busted on drug possession, organized crime charges

Organized crime, or engaging in organized criminal activity, is defined by statute in Texas as the commission of a specified crime by three or more persons working together to commit it. It can apply, for example, to drug trafficking but not usually to drug possession, which is generally attributed to one person and not to conspiratorial behavior. The crime must be distinguished from criminal conspiracy, which is similar and somewhat overlapping.

The Tyler police department released information regarding the arrest of a 64-year-old man on charges of engaging in organized crime with his two sons, in connection with alleged drug trafficking activity involving marijuana. The details of what the man is alleged to have carried out with his sons is not clear. He was also charged with possession of drugs.

2 women held for forged check, later charge of drug possession

For those who live near a state where marijuana is legal, it may seem tempting and easy to purchase the drug legally and then transport if for sale into states where the drug is still illegal. In reality, however, that strategy could encounter numerous obstacles, not the least of which is getting caught and going to jail. That is the predicament that two young women face as they remain in custody in Texas to face charges that include drug possession and possession with intent to sell.  

The two Henderson County women are also charged with attempting to pass a forged check at a Texas bank. It was after being apprehended for the forged check that authorities decided to search the women's vehicle, where they discovered marijuana, a firearm and $14,000 in currency. Police also found bullet holes on the side of the vehicle, which the defendants indicated was due to an alleged robbery attempt against them in Van Zandt County.

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.

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