Police are empowered to seek drugs as part of drug violation charges in some cases but not in all others. In general, law enforcement officers hold to the doctrine of probable cause when they are seeking evidence or entering private property. This means that police must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior or imminent danger in order to investigate without a warrant.
Although people would rather not think this way, drug problems are possible for anyone. Some use controlled substances as a source of relief from the problems of youth. Others receive prescription medications and cannot seem to stop using them after they are no longer needed.
One of the issues with drug charges has nothing to do with the dangers involved in using them. Competition between drug dealers can lead to violence that destroys communities, and the transportation of drugs between jurisdictions can lead to new crimes in different states or counties.
Almost 50 pounds of cocaine and three pounds of fentanyl was seized from a 2017 Tahoe as it crossed into Maryland in late February 2020. The vehicle was pulled over for a routine traffic stop when police officers noted that the vehicle's tint was too dark.
A Maryland man was recently sentenced to 19 years in federal prison for distributing fentanyl and violating his probation. The charges stem from his arrest during a drug bust in June 2019.
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.
Maryland is not one of the states that has legalized recreational usage of marijuana, but it has decriminalized possession of small amounts, and there is a medical marijuana program. Despite the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana possession throughout much of the country, in 40% of the 2018 cases in which people were taken into custody on drug-related charges, the drug involved was marijuana. In fact, according to data from the FBI, more people are detained for marijuana than for any other drug.
A 27-year-old Maryland man was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Dec. 30 after being found guilty of carrying an illegal gun. He was given credit for the 275 days he has spent behind bars since his March 29 arrest. He was also given a 40 month suspended sentence for cocaine possession. The sentences were handed down by a judge in Washington County.
A Maryland teacher - and the wife of a local mayor - is facing two misdemeanor drug charges after she was accused of attempting to purchase drugs from a student. Specifically, she was accused of seeking to purchase ADHD medication, contacting the student over social media as well as text messages. She is accused of attempted possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana and contributing to certain conditions of a child. The latter charge is for an adult accused of encouraging or causing delinquency or illegal behavior by a child.
People in Maryland who are facing charges for selling substances that are similar to the drug fentanyl, also known as fentanyl analogs, may continue to face charges for selling Schedule 1 drugs if the government decides to renew an emergency order of the Drug Enforcement Agency. The order will expire in February 2020 if it is not renewed. Law enforcement says the order makes it easier for them to investigate and prosecute drug sellers, but critics say it disproportionately targets low-income people, people of color and users who are only selling a small amount.