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Maryland apartment search leads to $200,000 drug seizure

A 25-year-old man was taken into custody by police in Howard County and charged with 32 narcotics counts after drugs with a street value said to be in excess of $200,000 were allegedly discovered in his Elliot City apartment. According to local media reports, the investigation that led to the May 10 search and arrest was launched after a concerned citizen reported to a drug tip line in January that the residence was being used to store and sell drugs.

The ensuing investigation lasted for four months and uncovered evidence suggesting that the information contained in the tip was accurate. Based on this evidence, police were able to secure a warrant to enter and search the Autumn Branch Lane residence. After being taken into custody by police at the scene, the man was transported to the Howard County Detention Center for processing. He is being held without bond according to media accounts.

During the search of the apartment, officers allegedly found a cache of drugs including more than 5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine. Other illegal narcotics recovered are said to include undisclosed quantities of marijuana, LSD, heroin, cocaine, THC wax and oil, amphetamine, crystal ketamine, MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms and the prescription medications Xanax, suboxone and clonazepam. Police also claim to have discovered evidence of drug sales and manufacturing and about $14,500 in cash.

Individuals facing serious drug charges may believe that their situations are dire if police discover illegal narcotics during searches authorized by search warrants, but experienced criminal defense attorneys may remind them that the issuance of a warrant does not necessarily make searches legal. Judges could rule searches illegal even after warrants have been issued if the probable cause on the warrant application is questionable or police strayed beyond the scope of the warrant.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, Howard County police: Tip from resident leads to $200,000 drug bust in Ellicott City, Staff report, May 14, 2019

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