Police in Pine Bluff, Arkansas reported arresting one person recently on drug charges after searching a premises under the authority of a search warrant. Authorities estimated the 30.8 pounds of marijuana and 2.2 pounds of cocaine that they seized to have a street value of $194,600. In the raid, police found only one person on the premises and arrested the 53-year-old man for possession with intent to distribute drugs, along with other alleged drug crimes.
Authorities also found drug-related paraphernalia, a rifle and a semi-automatic shotgun. They confiscated three growing marijuana plants. The Pine Bluff Police spokesperson stated that more arrests were coming and that the investigation was still active.
The police indicated their perception that this was a case of getting to the “bigger” guys. In all search warrant cases, defense counsel must investigate as early as possible to obtain the facts while they are still fresh. An initial consultation in depth with the defendant is necessary. The evaluation of everything that can be established as fact, the surrounding circumstances, and any defenses of the client are all looked into with great specificity.
Furthermore, in all Arkansas criminal cases involving charges to distribute drugs, the investigation must also go into extensive detail on whether the police had probable cause to obtain a search warrant, which includes determining the reliability of the sources used by the police. The manner of execution of the warrant is also an area where the police may tend to exceed their authority, which may provide the defendant with a constitutional question to raise by way of a motion to suppress the evidence. Another perspective on such cases is that defense counsel may be called upon to negotiate a plea bargain that will prove beneficial to the client. In this case, with the man being the first arrested, he may be in a position to get more lenient treatment based on early and substantial cooperation.
Source: pbccommercial.com, “One arrested, $194k in suspected drugs seized“, Ray King, May 27, 2016