Pennsylvania police often face pressure to combat illegal drugs sales in their local communities. As a result, large-scale drug sting operations may occur and innocent bystanders may be wrongfully arrested and charged.
Recently, a so-called “drug bust” in Pennsylvania resulted in the arrest of 22 individuals. Pennsylvania police, investigators from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office and the local District Attorney’s office coordinated a nine-month investigation that culminated in a mass arrest that was supposedly related to the dealing of cocaine, heroin, bath salts and crack cocaine. The investigative team purportedly planned and executed several undercover drug purchases and controlled buys, primarily of heroin, targeting suspected mid to upper-level drug dealers. The suspects arrested were both male and female and their ages ranged from 19 to 66.
Those accused of crimes related to drug dealing are innocent until proven guilty. Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, the accused may have several defenses available to him or her. For instance, the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitute protects individuals against unlawful searches and seizures. If the arresting officer did not follow proper due process procedures, any drugs found may not be introduced at trial. The accused also could argue that the drugs did not belong to him or her. Additionally, the accused could argue that based on a crime lab analysis, the substance found was not actually an illegal drug. Claiming that the drugs were planted on the accused is another common defense. If the accused was entrapped by the officer, then he or she may have a viable defense. The accused’s best defense will be based on the facts of his or her specific case.
For Pennsylvania residents accused of drug dealing or other drug-related offenses, choosing the best criminal defense may seem difficult or overwhelming, but it is essential step to take in order to have the charges reduced or even dropped.
Source: WJAC TV, “22 face charges in Blair Co. drug bust,” Mar. 14, 2014