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Upper Marlboro Criminal Defense Law Blog

Maryland doctor and girlfriend arrested in drug investigation

On Feb. 15, authorities announced the arrest of a Havre de Grace doctor and his girlfriend in connection with a prescription drug investigation. The charges were filed on Jan. 31.

According to the Havre de Grace Police Department, a 10-month investigation alleged that the female defendant, age 33, was involved in illegally distributing prescription drugs in Harford County. Meanwhile, the doctor, age 55, is accused of harboring her at his home on the 200 block of Pointe Way while she was participating in illegal activities. The DEA, the Harford County Sheriff's Office and the Harford County Joint Narcotics Task Force assisted in the investigation.

Handling criminal charges is just the beginning for UM students

Perhaps you felt your child made the right decision in choosing to attend the University of Maryland in the pursuit of a college degree. You sent your student off to school with the expectation that he or she would study hard and make you proud.

Then, you got one of the phone calls that every parent dreads. Either campus police or another law enforcement agency arrested your child for DUI, drug possession, shoplifting or some other offense common to college students. You probably already know that a criminal conviction would seriously jeopardize his or her future, but did you know that your child's future could also hinge on an administrative process at the university?

Former All-Star pitcher facing drug trafficking charges

Baseball fans in Maryland and around the country may remember Esteban Loaiza starting the All Star Game for the American League in 2003. The right-handed pitcher lost only nine games that season while winning 21, but he made headlines of a very different sort on Feb. 9 when he was taken into custody on drug trafficking charges by police in California. A representative of the San Diego Sheriff's Department said that Loaiza was detained after deputies discovered 44 pounds of a white powder believed to be cocaine during a search of his Imperial Beach residence.

According to reports, deputies pulled over Loaiza's Mercedes-Benz sedan for an alleged traffic violation after observing him crossing the U.S.-Mexico border earlier in the day. A search warrant was obtained for the 46-year-old former pitcher's rented home after a sophisticated hidden compartment was allegedly found in the car. Loaiza was reportedly unable to raise the $200,000 he would need to post bail. Prosecutors argued during a Feb. 14 arraignment hearing that Loaiza's ties to Mexico made him a flight risk, and a San Diego County Superior Court subsequently raised the bail amount to $250,000.

Is your child sharing study drugs on campus?

No matter the course of study your child is taking at the University of Maryland, it is normal for any college student to feel the stress that comes with college. Reading assignments, projects, lab work, papers and exams consume an enormous number of hours in addition to class time and practicums. You may worry about your child's ability to keep up on minimal sleep and a diet of junk food and caffeine. However, there may be something more sinister to worry about.

A student who has access to prescription medication commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may become very popular on campus. Some college students are also known to use such drugs as study aids. Needless to say, the medications are in high demand.  

Maryland man facing drug charges after traffic stop

A 21-year-old man was arrested on drug charges in a traffic stop in Prince Frederick on Jan. 22. A local sheriff stopped a car near Sixes Road and Grays Road and found a man from Accokeek behind the wheel. The man provided his information, and the sheriff stated that he recognized a scent of marijuana coming from the car.

The man behind the wheel was found to have an active warrant in Montgomery County, and he was arrested and booked at the Calvert County Detention Center. The driver was searched, and police claim that they found a 20-gram plastic bag of marijuana in his clothes and later found another plastic bag containing 10 grams of cannabis.

The impact of pretrial detention in Maryland

A study by the American Economic Review found that the average defendant in the United States made less than $7,000 in the year before being taken into custody. That lack of an income could play a big role in whether a person is held before trial. In fact, less than 50 percent of individuals analyzed in the study could afford bail even when set at $5,000 or less. In the United States, there are roughly 500,000 who are held each day awaiting trial

A person who is held in pretrial detention is 14 percentage points more likely to be found guilty than someone who is released before trial. This is because that individual may have less of an ability to hold out for the best possible outcome. Those who are released prior to trial are 10.8 percentage points less likely to plead guilty.

Understanding possession with intent to distribute charges

Maryland residents who are charged with possession with intent to distribute could face serious penalties. To be charged with this crime, three elements must be satisfied and two of them must be satisfied at the same time. First, it must be shown that a person was in possession of the drugs. Then, it must be shown that the person intended to distribute or sell them.

Finally, it must be shown that possession with intent to sell was evident when a person was taken into custody. Evidence of possession may include finding drugs in a person's hand or in a person's jacket. Possession may also be established if drugs are found in a vehicle or home that a person owns. However, if that individual didn't know about the presence of the controlled substance, it may not be possible to prove possession occurred.

Ethanol: The ingredient that can skew a breath or urine test

Living in Maryland, there is certainly no shortage of things to do, especially at night -- with plenty of clubs, bars and restaurants to choose from. 

Heading out for the night, it's always a good idea to have a game plan for how you are going to get somewhere and how you are going to get home. For those who decide to be the safe ride home for friends, it may surprise you to learn that you can still end up arrested for drunk driving if you recently took cold medicine. 

Maryland man faces array of drug charges

A Maryland man has been issued criminal charges after police searched his home and seized money and guns as well as drugs. The charges include weapons violations, possession of narcotics with intent to distribute and two counts of possession of drugs other than marijuana.

The raid on the man's home was carried out by a special police task force on narcotics, and it was part of an ongoing investigation of the sources and distribution of opiates in the area. Inside the home, an array of items, which police alleged were to be used for drug packaging, were found. These included scissors, a digital scale and some marijuana packaged in a small bag. The man also had several firearms in the house, including two 12-gauge shotguns and two handguns that were found loaded.

Man facing drug charges following undercover drug purchase

On Jan. 4, a Maryland man was taken into custody and charged with multiple drug crimes after authorities conducted two undercover drug buys from him. The 43-year-old was reportedly observed selling drugs to an undercover informant twice before he was taken into custody.

On Dec. 13, the informant was given $300 by authorities to purchase crack cocaine from the main. The alleged undercover drug purchase occurred in a parking lot that was located on the first block of North Locust Street in Hagerstown. The transaction was reported by the police with an electronic monitoring device. A second undercover drug purchase was set up on Jan. 4, though this time the accused man allegedly sold the undercover informant both crack cocaine and heroin. The man was taken into custody in a nearby business after both individuals had left the parking lot.

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