Charles L. Truncale
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Red light stop in Florida leads to marijuana seizure

Police in Florida say that a routine traffic stop in Okaloosa County on April 24 led to the seizure of more than 300 grams of marijuana. A 19-year-old Crestview man has been taken into custody in connection with the narcotics haul. He has been charged with drug possession, carrying a concealed weapon and possessing drug paraphernalia. A records check is said to have revealed that the man also has an outstanding warrant for the lewd and lascivious battery of a minor.

According to media reports, the man's car was pulled over near the intersection of Aplin Road and South Ferdon Boulevard, which is also known as State Road 85, in Crestview after an officer observed it running a red light. The officer says that he became suspicious when he noticed the distinctive odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

A subsequent search of the car is said to have led to the discovery of 13 bags of marijuana in a green duffel bag. Police say that the drugs appeared to be packaged for sale and several of the bags had been marked to identify their contents to prospective buyers. Police also claim to have found a set of digital scales and a loaded .357 caliber revolver in the vehicle and $3,280 in currency in the man's pockets.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may study poliuce reports very carefully when presented with facts like these. Cases involving drug possession often hinge on the admissibility of evidence discovered during warrantless searches, and attorneys may seek to have narcotics charges dismissed if police lacked the probable cause necessary to conduct a search without first obtaining approval from a judge. Attorneys may also question the validity of drug charges when police may have delayed traffic stops unnecessarily to allow K9 units to be called in.

Source: WKRG-TV, "Traffic stop leads to big drug bust", Chris Best, April 26, 2017

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