Two traffic stops made by Louisiana State Police Troopers ended in the arrest of four individuals after officers discovered $500,000 worth of the designer drug “Molly.” The amount seized equates to 19 pounds, or 20,000 doses of the drug.
In the early morning hours, officers stopped one individual on the interstate and became suspicious of his behavior. The troopers then called in the Baton Rouge Police K-9 and were allegedly alerted to the presence of illegal narcotics within the vehicle. After searching the trunk of the vehicle officers purportedly found 19 pounds of “Molly,” a mixed powder substance.
Around the same time, officers stopped another vehicle near the same area for a traffic violation. Troopers alleged that the second vehicle’s occupants were working with the first individual that was apprehended, and all were arrested on drug charges. All members of the group were charged with possession with intent to distribute and attempt and conspiracy to distribute schedule I narcotics. The two individuals driving the cars also received charges for improper lane usage and improper display of a license plate, respectively.
Individuals that find themselves charged with a drug crime as the result of a traffic stop are entitled to the protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from an unreasonable search and seizure of their person and property. Generally, officers may search a vehicle without a search warrant only if there is consent, an emergency situation, evidence in plain view, or the search is incident to a lawful arrest. Any evidence seized during an unlawful search generally cannot subsequently be used against the defendant.
Every criminal defendant, like those in this instance, deserves proper due process throughout the course of their proceedings. Among other rights, every accused person is presumed innocent until the government can prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: WNOW.com, “Traffic stop leads to arrest of 4 with $500,000 of ‘Molly’,” July 1, 2014