Utilize your right to remain silent: Louisiana men face drug charges

As Louisiana residents prepared for the arrival of Hurricane Isaac, two men were arrested by local police. Officers say that the pair was driving down a roadway near businesses that had closed early in anticipation of the storm. Police stopped the vehicle, which resulted in both men being arrested and charged with crimes that included a drug possession charge.

Police noted that the vehicle did not have proper registration, and the driver had no license. The suspicion of drug involvement came after officers noticed a scent of marijuana coming from the stopped vehicle. The men in the car admitted that they had smoked the drug and even stated that there was additional marijuana in the vehicle. However, a police inspection yielded no drugs in the car.

This could have been where the traffic stop ended. However, one of the men in the vehicle expressed surprise that officers were unable to find drugs in their vehicle. When he heard that the drugs were not there, the man apparently asked officers to go back to a place where the men had previously stopped to see if he had inadvertently dropped the bag of drugs. Acting on the inquiry by the suspect, local police went back to the area where they had seen the car stopped previously. There they say they found a bag containing 27.6 grams of marijuana.

It was this discovery that led to the drug possession charge for the two men. In this case, information that came directly from the suspects likely led to the criminal charges that they now face. Like all who have been stopped by police for a traffic violation, these men had no responsibility to tell officers about the marijuana. It's important to remember that you have the right to remain silent if police question you.

Source: nola.com, "LaPlace man arrested after he allegedly asks cop to retrieve dropped bag of marijuana," Michelle Hunter, Sept. 5, 2012

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