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Upper Marlboro Criminal Defense Law Blog

Rapper Ty Dolla $ign hit with cocaine charges in Georgia

Maryland fans of rapper-singer Ty Dolla $ign, whose given name is Tyrone William Griffin Jr., may be concerned to learn that he was indicted on drug charges in early December. The charges were handed down three months after his arrest in Fulton County, Georgia, in early September.

According to media reports, Griffin was on his way to perform a concert in Atlanta when law enforcement officers stopped his van. In a body cam video posted online, officers are seen ordering the rapper and five other men from the van. One of those present was DJ and musician Skrillex. Officers patted down the men and then started searching the van with the help of drug dogs. Eventually, Griffin's backpack was searched, and officers allegedly found a small pouch containing cocaine inside. The officer wearing the body cam also claimed he could smell marijuana and asked if any of the men had been smoking it. Griffin can be heard saying that he'd smoked earlier in the day.

Was your college kid arrested on charges of possessing PCP?

Perhaps you already know that PCP, or phencyclidine, still exists. In fact, many people continue to use it, produce it and distribute it. Maybe your first indication of this was when your college student called you from a jail here in Maryland, and you found out that he or she faces charges for possession or distribution of PCP.

Before you take any action regarding your child and the charges, you may want to know a bit more about this dangerous hallucinogen.

Maryland drug investigation leads to 17 indictments

A sweeping narcotics investigation in Maryland has resulted in 17 indictments and the seizure of drugs with a street value of between $20,000 and $30,000 according to an announcement from the Talbot County Drug Task Force. The investigation focused on an Easton man who is alleged to have run a drug ring that distributed significant quantities of amphetamines, cocaine and opioid pills in bars and restaurants in Oxford, St. Michaels and Easton.

The man is said to have used a large number of associates to sell the drugs. Police say that some of these individuals worked at several area bars and night clubs. One of the individuals indicted is a Cambridge man who authorities believe supplied the drug gang with cocaine. The investigation entered its final phase when warrants were obtained to search 26 properties in Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot Counties.

The First Step Act faces many hurdles

Politicians from Maryland and throughout the country have supported the First Step Act. If passed through Congress, the legislation would work to shorten federal prison sentences and alter rules that tend to unfairly harm minorities. For instance, it would make sentencing more equitable for those convicted of crimes related to crack cocaine and powdered cocaine. However, it is important to note that the Department of Justice would still have the final say as to whether a person would qualify for an early release.

Furthermore, the bill only applies to federal cases. Currently, less than 10 percent of the American prison population is housed in federal prisons. The bill would only apply to about 1.5 percent of those individuals. Of course, this assumes that the legislation would get through the Senate. Mitch McConnell has said that there will be no vote on the bill in 2018.

First Steps Act may change mandatory sentencing, other rules

Some people in Maryland who are serving a jail or prison sentence may have their sentences shortened or receive other benefits if a bill known as the First Step Act passes through Congress. One thing the bill will do is address the disparities in sentencing between people convicted of drug-related charges involving cocaine and those involving crack.

In 2010, the Fair Sentencing Act addressed this issue, which has been one of racial disparity. The First Step Act will make it retroactive. Prosecutors will be involved in the process that will require prisoners to petition and return to court. The act will also increase the ability of judges to use their discretion when it comes to mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines by expanding to include people with minimal criminal histories. Furthermore, it will make some automatic sentences less severe.

Did a Maryland police officer ask you to take a sobriety test?

Maryland police are often on the lookout for erratic driving behaviors. If they think your tires are coming too close to the yellow line or that you made an unsafe lane change, chances are you are going to wind up in a traffic stop. Sometimes, you might merely receive a warning before the officer at your car window says you are free to leave the scene.

Things don't always unfold in such a benign fashion, however, especially if the officer in question suspects that you've been driving under the influence of alcohol. You can assume that he or she thinks this if, when you pull over, the officer asks you to step out of your vehicle. Police don't normally do this unless they think a driver is impaired or has committed a crime.

Woman charged with drug possession after EMS calls police

Reports of a woman passed out behind the wheel of her car on the afternoon of Oct. 29 led to drug possession charges for 31-year-old Maryland resident according to local media outlets. Emergency services workers say that the woman was alert when they arrived at the scene, but they called the Maryland State Police when she reportedly became combative and belligerent.

The trooper dispatched to Mervell Dean Road in Hollywood arrived at approximately 5 p.m. and says that the woman became more compliant after the trooper identified herself as a peace officer. EMS workers allegedly described the woman's behavior as suspicious because she refused to move her hands from her lap. When the trooper ordered the woman to move her hands, she says that she noticed a metal and glass smoking device in the woman's lap. Reports indicate that deputies from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office then arrived at the scene and detained the woman. The trooper then conducted a search of the woman's car.

Should you just let police in when they show up at your door?

College students often inadvertently gain the attention of police officers. Cops may be looking for drunk drivers, disorderly conduct or public intoxication, which are often associated with college students. However, at times, they look for evidence of more serious offenses such as possession of drugs with the intent to distribute (dealing drugs), property crimes, such as credit card fraud or shoplifting, and assault or other violent crimes.

During the investigation into these matters, police may come to your door and ask to come in to talk to you. It may not be in your best interests to simply let them in. Actually, you probably shouldn't just open your door and your home to police. Now the question becomes whether you can deny them entry.

Maryland man arrested after police seize drugs and guns

A 29-year-old man from Baltimore who law enforcement suspect of belonging to the Bloods gang awaits his appearance in court after a police search allegedly uncovered drugs and guns associated with him. The Maryland State Police took him into custody in Curtis Bay as part of the agency's effort to address crimes taking place in the region. In conjunction with local Anne Arundel County Police and the Department of Homeland Security, state police executed a search warrant at a residence in the 4500 block of Pennington Ave.

Police reported finding heroin, powdered and crack cocaine, prescription opioids, marijuana, synthetic marijuana and two handguns. Authorities have charged him with distributing dangerous controlled substances, possessing those substances and violating weapons laws.

Maryland drug ring busted after 8-month investigation

An 8-month investigation into a Maryland drug ring has resulted in the arrests of 21 individuals who were allegedly involved. According to a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County Police Department, nearly 2 kilograms of fentanyl were seized, along with varying amounts of cocaine and heroin, and more than 8 kilograms of xylazine, an animal tranquilizer that is cut with heroin.

There have allegedly been up to 7 overdoses in connection with the suspected drug ring, including at least one xylazine overdose that occurred within the previous month. One 47-year-old man, who is purported to be the alleged leader of the drug ring, has been charged for offenses that occurred between the months of April and October.

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