Seven arrested in what NOPD claim are linked incidents

Drug charges continue to merit attention in New Orleans and all of Louisiana. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) claimed success from the operation of three stings in the city on Oct. 26 and 27. Police claim the stings were related to purported associates of a recently convicted murderer, though there was no information released which corroborated that assertion.

On the afternoon of Oct. 26, NOPD purportedly arranged a marijuana buy at a First Street residence in Central City. No information was released regarding the size of the transaction or the specifics of what occurred. Police claim that a further search of the premises turned up "more marijuana" along with the money police used to buy the marijuana. No attempt was made to describe the amount of marijuana said to be seized.

Later that afternoon, a separate marijuana buy was said to have been arranged. In this transaction, NOPD say they seized 277 grams of marijuana (a bit more than half a pound) and $312 in cash. No information was disclosed as to the amount of marijuana police claim to have purchased or the amount paid for it.

On Oct. 27, police say they observed a man tending to a drug stash under a house near South Liberty and St. Andrew streets. Police allege that the man removed rock cocaine from the stash, sold it nearby, then returned to the stash, at which point he was arrested. Police claim to have discovered 73 wrapped packages of rock cocaine, a larger piece and two guns.

In all, seven people were arrested on a variety of drug charges, including possession with intent to distribute and distribution. The tendency is to group these incidents together, but the burden is on law enforcement to merit that grouping. Each defendant is entitled to the same presumption of innocence that protects anyone accused of a crime, and not everyone accused of drug crimes is guilty. There may be factors regarding the investigation or the way suspects were arrested that can result in a reduction of charges or even dismissal. Those in Louisiana faced with such allegations should know their rights. Firstly, everyone has a right to remain silent and a fair trial in a court of law. Seeking experienced legal counsel may be a solid way to help ensure individuals' rights are protected.

Source: Uptown Messenger, "Seven arrested in 3 Central City drug busts," Robert Morris, Oct. 29, 2011

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