Instead of crack houses, California authorities may be focusing more on closing down meth houses in recent months. The increased law enforcement focus on methamphetamine manufacture and sales seems generally to be a national trend. In San Diego County on a recent weekend Sheriff's deputies raided a property in Lakeside, arrested eight people on various drug crime charges and condemned the real estate.
Happy Valley in Shasta County was not living up to its name on Tuesday evening, July 14, when police received reports of someone shooting from a moving vehicle. The shooting reportedly occurred on Happy Valley Road. Police reported that the caller described the vehicle, which police allegedly stopped a short time later. They arrested the driver and his passenger, both California residents, on drug crime charges relating to methamphetamine possession.
It is no longer unusual to see authorities charge a practicing physician with drug charges. Such cases usually concern the alleged illegal writing of prescriptions for controlled drugs, although some cases also involve the doctor's personal addiction. In a recent California arrest and prosecution, a doctor from Ranch Palos Verdes is accused of the drug crime of writing illegal prescriptions for controlled drugs to undercover agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
In California and elsewhere, when a street drug operation gets too conspicuous, it may attract unwanted attention and complaints to the local authorities about suspect activities. The police may respond by attempting to make repeated arrests for drug sales and other drug crimes in the reported area. This will tend to have a chilling effect on the suspected activities and may clean them up substantially.
Authorities have reported one of the "larger" drug busts in recent history in connection with the recent arrest of four men and two women in Southern California. So far, the street value of the cocaine seized from this purported drug crime operation is allegedly worth over $35 million. It terms of wholesale value, it would be worth about $8.2 million.
When the authorities get a disturbance call, they are duty-bound to not exceed the scope of their authority under federal and California law. They should investigate the requested matter and then leave the premises, unless they have observed a crime being committed in plain view or properly receive reliable information that establishes probable cause to proceed on some other matter. Even with probable cause of a suspected drug crime, the best procedure is to return to the station and swear out a search warrant.
It is virtually impossible to leave a prisoner in a holding cell in an official federal Drug Enforcement Administration office in a major metropolitan area and forget him for five consecutive days. That is what the San Diego DEA did, however, to a 23-year-old University of California student who had been picked up in a drug raid and never charged with a drug crime. Instead, he was forgotten and ignored for five days, while handcuffed and without water, food or sanitary facilities.
Many members of one family were recently arrested on drug charges. They have been accused of engaging in drug trafficking involving large amounts of drugs, such as methamphetamine. The alleged crime took place in multiple communities in California, including near one middle school.
In California, as well as elsewhere, a search warrant should be obtained by the police prior to the search of a private residence. When that is done and the search finds contraband resulting in an arrest, criminal defense counsel should review the warrant and the circumstances surrounding its approval. This is necessary to make sure that the warrant was issued for the proper reasons and that it was justified based on the facts the authorities knew at the time. If the warrant was no good, then the charges for the drug crime will likely not survive.
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.