For many years, state and federal police agencies in California and throughout the nation have enjoyed a system of asset forfeiture in drug cases that has worked to their financial benefit. When a defendant is arrested on drug crimes, a separate asset forfeiture action is pursued, and the suspect's assets in certain instances may be summarily seized. The purpose of the expansive asset forfeiture procedure has been to take away the fruits of the drug criminal's illegal activities.
Medical providers in California and elsewhere must be diligent in keeping their prescription pads away from patients. It's common for them to be stolen and used to obtain large volumes of pills, usually pain pills and addictive tranquilizers. The thief can then make money by selling the pills to individual buyers on the streets, constituting illegal drug trafficking.
Many drug cases in California and elsewhere are based on allegations of prescription excesses and the reckless over-prescribing of narcotics by doctors. Rarely, however, does a case allege that doctors and others are intentionally conspiring for the mass distribution of illegal narcotics in a major drug trafficking scheme. Authorities have announced such a plot with the arrest of five people in a "pill mill" case that allegedly involves doctors and laypersons in a widespread conspiracy to distribute illegal narcotics and other addictive medications.
A raid of a private California home in Encinitas for drugs and drug activities should be based on a fresh investigation and on solidly supported reasonable cause. A search warrant should never be issued on the basis of mere speculation or unreliable informants. Where the raid is based on unidentified phone calls reporting suspected drug crimes and drug activities, without supportive evidence or solid reliability, those circumstances could arguably be insufficient justification for the issuance of a search warrant.