Drug bust near Michigan school

Officials from a narcotics unit in Berrien County found both cash and drugs during a Jan. 28 bust. The search of an apartment just a few blocks from an area middle school followed the receipt of tips that suggested the activity had been ongoing for several months. Officers reportedly observed the activity in the area, noting the departure of two parties from the apartment in question. The 61-year-old man and the 48-year-old woman were escorted back to the location after a traffic stop, and officials searched the premises.

Both pain pills and crack cocaine were found at the scene, the cocaine being valued at approximately $1,400. Authorities discovered more than $400 in cash and also seized a truck. The man identified in the bust was on probation at the time for a federal offense. The narcotics unit detained him on drug possession and other charges, including the operation of a drug house within a school zone. The woman was charged in connection with the operation of a drug house as well. Officers also identified that she had an outstanding warrant for unrelated charges.

Suspicious activity might cause members of a neighborhood to speculate about drug sales and other issues in a home or apartment. However, it is important that authorities adhere to appropriate search and seizure laws in their efforts to investigate a situation involving possible drug activity. Incorrect protocol could undermine a drug case, especially if appropriate search warrants have not been secured.

An individual who is detained for drug offenses might want to review the steps leading up to their detention with a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer may be able to identify any failure of the authorities to uphold a client's civil rights. Additionally, a lawyer might be able to use weaknesses in a prosecutor's case to advocate for charges to be dropped or reduced.