Pennsylvania parents who have children in college may be interested to learn that two of the five Wesleyan University students who had previously been charged by the state of Connecticut in connection with a number of drug overdoses on the campus have now received federal charges with respect to the matter. The men had previously been expelled from the school after they were taken into custody on state charges.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police, a 21-year-old male college student was accused of selling drug on April 30. The student was reportedly taken into custody following a month-long investigation into what was thought to be illegal activities.
Pennsylvania residents may be interested in learning more about the charges that may be filed against people accused of dealing or selling drugs. State laws typically govern the charges levied against people accused of drug offense within the local jurisdiction. When the drug allegations involve a military base, the nation's capital, multiple states or crossing international borders, federal statutes may be filed against the accused. Although general parameters do exist, each state operates according to its own unique set of laws.
Most Pennsylvania residents have heard the term probable cause, but they may not know exactly what it means. Probable cause means that the authorities must have a reason to take a person into custody, search a person's property or seize certain property that may be associated with a crime. Additionally, prosecutors must also have probable cause before a person can be charged with a crime.
Many of the state drug laws on the books today harken back to the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, which established schedules for drugs based on abuse potential and perceived medical benefit as well as the doctrine of criminal forfeiture. This doctrine allows for the seizure of property involved in crimes to include drug crimes. The CDAPCA also gives authorities the ability to prosecute users and manufacturers for drugs that are not themselves illegal but behave in the human body the same way as illicit drugs.
Police in Pennsylvania have reported that a 46-year-old man was taken into custody on March 16 on drug charges after search warrants were executed at his residence and place of business. Authorities say that their investigation began in April 2014, and it was prompted by a number of tips about suspicious activity received from patrons who frequented the man's Lehigh Valley fitness center. After being taken into custody, the man was transported to a Berks County detention facility. His bail has been set at $250,000.
According to police, 32 individuals are facing charges in Pennsylvania in connection with a Colombian drug ring. Local officials were informed in January 2014 of a possible connection between heroin trafficking in Montgomery County and in Medellin, Colombia, by agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency. The evidence of the connection was allegedly discovered during a wiretap investigation.
Criminal defense attorneys in Pennsylvania may approach drug charges in a number of ways. Sometimes they will advocate on behalf of their clients by questioning the accuracy or reliability of evidence such as witness statements or laboratory analysis, and in other cases they may question the actions of law enforcement officers or dispute the facts as presented by prosecutors.
People in Pennsylvania can be criminally charged for possession of drug paraphernalia even if they are not found with any controlled substances. Under federal law, an individual may be handed drug paraphernalia charges if they are found selling, attempt to sell, mailing, transporting, importing or exporting drug paraphernalia. In some cases, a person could also face charges if they are simply found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia.
Pennsylvania police officers took five people into custody in the Pittsburgh area on Jan. 12 after they were accused of being involved in a drug trafficking ring. One of the accused individuals, a 32-year-old man living in West Homestead, was believed to be a part of a motorcycle club that was known for operating a large prescription drug and cocaine ring.