Some states are beginning to loosen legal restrictions on the purchase and use of marijuana, but in Pennsylvania, individuals accused of marijuana crimes can still face serious charges. Police in Hanover Township recently arrested a Plains Township man who was arraigned on charges of marijuana possession and possession with intent to deliver.
The circumstances of the arrest should be closely scrutinized. According to police, the 27-year-old was near a residence where he used to live. Authorities were conducting surveillance on the residence, and police claim the young man somehow saw an agent staked out in a vehicle. The young man did not stop at the residence.
However, police apparently stopped him. They claim his intent was to go to the house and pick up a package that was delivered by UPS. A drug detection dog reportedly alerted that the package had illegal drugs inside.
According to police, 7 pounds of marijuana were inside the package, which had been shipped from California.
Police also claim that the man who was stopped near the residence admitted to selling marijuana and using the house as a pickup location. Whether or not those alleged statements can be substantiated remains to be seen. People have a right to remain silent in these situations.
In this particular case, a preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 18. At that point, if the defendant does not choose to waive his right to the hearing, the prosecution will try to establish probable cause for the case to go to trial. The preliminary hearing is one of the first points in court where a defense attorney can have a significant impact on the outcome of a case.
Source: Go Lackawanna, "Man arrested after pot delivered by courier," Edward Lewis, Feb. 5, 2014