The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office announced that an investigation into a residence at the 8700 block of Forrest Hill revealed a large quantity of marijuana and that they took a 28-year-old man into custody for allegedly possessing the drug and planning to distribute it. The police were investigating the distribution of marijuana from the Forrest Hill residence, and the search yielded 35 pounds of reportedly high-grade marijuana.
According to the EBRSO, the police found the 35 pounds of marijuana in 32 bags that were one pound each and nine bags that were less than one pound. Narcotics agents also found a vacuum sealer, empty plastic bags, a scale and $12,000 in cash at the home in East Baton Rouge.
The Baton Rouge man was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The marijuana apparently has a total street value of $126,000 and was being sold for $3,600 a pound.
Possession and possession with intent to distribute are two different charges, and the later can be more serious and result in a large prison sentence. In cases like this one that involve a search and seizure, a defense attorney might question whether a search was legal. While the reason this search took place was unknown, law enforcement needs valid cause to carry out a search, which may take the form of a warrant or consent.
A conviction may depend on whether or not a search was legal. If the man in this case allowed his home to be searched due to coercion, the evidence found in the drug seizure may not be admissible in court. When gaining consent to search a premises, the person who gives consent could also matter. For example, someone temporarily staying at a residence may not be able to give consent the way a homeowner could.
Source: The Times-Picayune, “Deputies’ arrest Baton Rouge man found with 35 pounds of marijuana in home,” Quincy Hodges, Jan. 6, 2015