Police in New York recently arrested a 29-year old man from Upstate following a drug raid. The man was charged with drug possession, specifically, two felony counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance.
The man was accused of possessing crack cocaine and heroin, which is why police raided the man's home and placed him under arrest. However, police connected the man to two others who were arrested on drug-related charges. Apparently, one of the other men had been known to sell drugs from his home.
Reports also indicate that one of two other men arrested sold illicit substances to an undercover officer, which could lead to more serious charges for him. Of course, any drug-related charge should be taken seriously, but drug distribution charges usually include punishments more severe than those for possession.
In drug cases like this one, how the illegal drugs were found by police is sometimes an important issue. For illicit drugs to be entered into evidence, they must have been discovered pursuant to a valid search warrant or any warrantless search must have been performed under one of several recognized exceptions to the warrant requirement, such as the plain view exception. These limitations are placed on law enforcement to prevent a violation of the defendant's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Conviction for a felony drug offense can have a disastrous effect on one's life and reputation, because a felony conviction usually will negatively affect a defendant's employment and educational prospects. Fortunately, anyone accused of drug trafficking is entitled to a vigorous criminal defense. He or she has the right to challenge the constitutional validity of the search and seizure of the evidence, as well to question any witnesses and challenge the charges and the court's proceedings.
Source: Utica Observer-Dispatch, "Utica man faces felony drug charges in Norwich raid," January 26, 2013