A routine traffic stop on the morning of Sept. 9 led to the discovery of marijuana and two loaded handguns according to a report from the Maryland State Police. A 23-year-old man, a 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old teen were taken into custody in connection with the guns and drugs. The 23-year-old man has been charged with drug possession and drug possession with the intent to distribute. The 20-year-old man faces misdemeanor theft and weapons counts. The teen, who is being charged as an adult, has been charged with possessing drugs and a firearm.
The sequence of events began when an MSP trooper pulled a vehicle over on Great Mills Road in St. Mary’s County at approximately 9:46 a.m. for an undisclosed traffic violation. The drugs and guns were allegedly discovered during a probable cause search of the vehicle. However, initial media reports do not reveal what led the trooper to believe that the car contained evidence of ongoing criminal activity.
The three individuals, who are all Lexington Park residents, were taken into custody at the scene and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center for processing. The teen was subsequently taken to the Cheltenham Youth Detention Center. Searches of the two men’s residences by the Maryland State Police Gun Enforcement Unit allegedly led to the discovery of handgun ammunition. The 23-year-old man was later released on bond. The 20-year-old man and the teen are being held without bond.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may study police reports carefully when presented with facts like these, and they may seek to have drug charges dismissed when officers could have conducted warrantless searches without sufficient probable cause. Attorneys may also question the justification for traffic stops when official accounts do not contain clear evidence of a motor vehicle violation.