The Maryland State Police have reported that a routine traffic stop in Wicomico County on the evening of March 22 led to the discovery and seizure of a semi-automatic handgun and more than 12 pounds of marijuana. A 30-year-old man has been charged with marijuana possession, marijuana possession with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm while prohibited in connection with the gun and drugs.
The man's day took a turn for the worse when troopers pulled his vehicle over near Margaret Street and East College Lane in Salisbury at approximately 6:28 p.m. Initial reports do not reveal why the vehicle was pulled over. During the traffic stop, troopers say that they noticed the distinct smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. An ensuing search of the car is said to have yielded 301 grams of the drug.
This discovery was enough to convince a judge to issue a search warrant for the man's residence. During the search of the home, police say they found a further 12 pounds of marijuana and a .40-caliber Kahr pistol. The gun led to an additional charge as a records check is said to have revealed that the man is a felon prohibited from owning a firearm. If convicted on the drug distribution charge, the man faces an enhanced sentence for allegedly selling narcotics within 1,000 feet of an elementary school.
When presented with facts such as these, experienced criminal defense attorneys may pay particular attention to the reason given by police for the initial traffic stop. Police officers are not permitted to pull vehicles over based on suspicion alone, and an attorney may seek to have drug charges dismissed when a traffic stop that leads to the discovery of drugs was made without sufficient probable cause.