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Controlled purchases, search warrant lead to 3 drug arrests

Two of the most useful tools for law enforcement officers in dealing with suspected drug crimes are controlled purchases and search warrants. Both were recently used by Lackawanna County detectives to arrest three persons on charges of having committed various drug-related crimes.

The officers first made controlled purchases of crack from a house in Scranton using pre-marked currency. The officers then obtained a search warrant after completing the purchase. As officers approached the house that was the subject of the warrant, a man outside spotted them and attempted to run into the house. Officers used a stun gun to incapacitate him when he ignored orders to stop running. Two women inside the house were arrested without incident and taken into custody.

In searching the suspects, detectives found $80 that was part of the pre-marked money used to complete the purchase. Police also found a cell phone belonging to one of the women that contained a number of text messages between her and the male suspect arranging a number of drug deals between the two. On searching the house, police found a safe and suspected crack, marijuana, heroin and drug paraphernalia. The man and woman suspected of conducting drug-related transactions were incarcerated subject to $100,000 bail; fail for the second woman was set at $25,000.

These three persons are facing serious criminal charges, but like all criminal defendants, they are entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until they are proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, a number of questions may affect the outcome. Was the warrant properly obtained? Was the search made within the scope of the warrant? Did the controlled purchase constitute entrapment? Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult a knowledgeable criminal attorney for an appraisal of the evidence, an enumeration of possible defense strategies, and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.

Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, "Three nabbed on drug charges in Scranton," David Singleton, May 4, 2016

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