Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder made an important announcement: Federal prosecutors would no longer seek the mandatory minimum sentence when charging people with drug crimes. This was a momentous decision, because mandatory minimum sentences were often harsh, requiring long prison sentences.
The change will likely be a relief for North Carolina residents who charged with petty drug crimes, but those found guilty of more serious drug-related offenses will likely still face very stiff penalties. Those penalties will be multiplied if the drug crime includes the illegal possession of weapons.
This may be the case for three Charlotte residents who were recently arrested for possession of drugs and weapons. The three men, aged 18, 19 and 23, were found in their apartment. A neighbor called police after noticing the smell of marijuana emanating from the apartment.
Police officers obtained a warrant and entered the apartment. There, they found an undisclosed amount of money and a small amount of cocaine and marijuana. Police also discovered five firearms, three of which were allegedly stolen. One of the weapons, an assault rifle, was reportedly stolen from the FBI.
Two of the men were arrested for possession of stolen property and narcotics charges. The third was arrested on drug charges.
Cases such as this one, in which drugs and guns are recovered at the same time, can easily result in lengthy prison sentences. In such cases, then, attorneys involved in the process should be sure to examine the evidence and search warrant very carefully, to ensure that the police procedure was undertaken correctly and that the defendant’s right were not violated during the course of the events.
Source: WBTV.com, “Police arrest 3 for drugs in south Charlotte apartment, recover stolen FBI firearm” No Author Given, Sep. 05, 2013