Police in New York took a 25-year-old man into custody on March 19 during a parole warrant effort. The man is facing drug possession charges after officers allegedly discovered 23 bags containing what was believed to be crack cocaine in his parked vehicle. Court records indicate that the man’s bail was set at $5,000 during his arraignment hearing at Stapleton Criminal Court. He is scheduled to appear in court again on April 7.
According to media reports, the drug charges were the latest episode in a series of problems that the man has had with the law. Reports indicate that he was sentenced to a prison term of two and a half years after entering a plea of guilty to charges of assault in the second degree. The charges stemmed from an October 2011 shooting in West Brighton that left two women wounded. The man earned parole in November 2013.
Reports of the incident do not indicate what led police to seek the man out and search his vehicle. He has been charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of drug possession.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans againstunreasonable search and seizure, but the conditions of parole or probation sometimes require those on supervised release to agree to warrantless searches. However, criminal charges against those on parole or probation must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, and a criminal defense attorney may still be able to mount a vigorous defense on their client’s behalf. An attorney could also seek to have drug charges reduced or dismissed during plea negotiations by bringing mitigating factors to the attention of prosecutors.
Source: SI Live, “Ex-con faces drug charges; served time for a shooting,” Frank Donnelly, March 21, 2015