A routine traffic stop in Maryland on the afternoon of Jan. 1 led to felony drug charges for two teenagers according to a press release from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office. An 18-year-old Delaware man and a 19-year-old Delaware man were charged with possessing drugs with the intent to distribute after the deputy who conducted the traffic stop allegedly found heroin and crack cocaine. They also face a sentencing enhancement because the incident took place less than 1,000 feet from an elementary school. Both men were denied bond and remain in custody at the Wicomico County Detention Center.
The car the two men were traveling in was pulled over by a deputy on Lake Street near Rose Street in Salisbury at approximately 12:04 p.m. for an unspecified moving violation. Reports indicate that the deputy ordered the two men to exit the vehicle after detecting the odor of marijuana. The deputy then allegedly observed one of the men attempting to discard several items. The deputy investigated the items and concluded that they were wax folds containing a substance that appeared to be heroin.
The deputy allegedly discovered in excess of 200 wax folds of heroin and two plastic bags containing what appeared to be crack cocaine. The bags were found in the possession of the man who the deputy claims to have seen discarding items. The deputy then took both of the men into custody without incident.
Individuals who face the prospect of spending years behind bars on drug charges sometimes feel the urge to confess and explain themselves, but experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise them to remain silent when questioned. Drugs or other items discovered during warrantless searches are only admissible in court when police had probable cause to believe that criminal activity was taking place. Police must also provide solid grounds for a traffic stop. When police reports contain no compelling evidence for pulling a vehicle over, attorneys might seek to have the items discovered during a subsequent search excluded.