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Drug, weapons charges follow home raid in Scranton

Drug crime convictions in Pennsylvania can carry mandatory minimum sentences, depending how much of an illegal substance prosecutors claim a defendant had. With the stakes so high, it is important for anyone accused of a drug crime to be aware of the available legal options for achieving the best possible outcome.

We started this blog to discuss criminal defense matters that are relevant to Pennsylvania residents, so let's consider two recent arrests in Lackawanna County. A man and a woman are each facing a number of charges after police searched their home in Scranton.

According to police, the home was under investigation for drug activity, and detectives executed a search warrant in the early morning before sunrise. Police claim the man and woman indicated that drugs were in the residence, and detectives reportedly turned up 150 bags of heroin, some MDMA and some marijuana.

Police also claim to have found a loaded handgun under a mattress, and someone had apparently scraped off the gun's serial number. The man is now accused of illegally altering the weapon and possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia. A news report indicates that he offered a written statement saying the gun and the drugs belonged to him.

The woman is also facing drug charges, including possession with intent to distribute.

If a person is under investigation for a possible drug crime, it is important for the suspect to be aware of his or her right to remain silent. Even if a search warrant has been served, a suspect has the right to speak with an attorney before offering any statements to police, who in turn are required to follow proper procedure when conducting a search and seizure or making an arrest.

Pennsylvania residents who are interested in learning more about criminal defense are encouraged to check back here each week. We'll be posting on local and national topics that may be of interest.

Source: thetimes-tribune.com, "Detectives seize gun in drug raid, serial number was scratched off," Joseph Kohut, Nov. 2, 2013

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