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Arrests of three Virginia men based on neighbors' reports

Drugs are a hot political and social issue, frequently under debate for many reasons. Many people argue that the money and time spent on zealous enforcement of drug crimes is excessive and could be better spent on other crimes. Others argue that the drugs should never be illegal in the first place, eliminating the enforcement problem altogether. Currently, however, enforcing the strict drug laws in this country is a top priority of law enforcement, which can put many Virginia citizens at risk for prosecution on drug charges.

Arrests were recently made of three men in Culpeper, Virginia, after officers began watching a home based on alleged reports from neighbors. The first two arrests were made when police officers searched a car that matched a description of one possibly used in drug deals at the home. Police reportedly found cocaine and scales, charging the two men arrested with felony intent to distribute cocaine, as well as possession. The third man was arrested during a raid on a home that uncovered suspected PCP. He was also charged with a drug felony: possession with intent to distribute PCP.

This story indicates how easily someone can be caught up in drug enforcement efforts, simply by being at the wrong place at the wrong time or spending time with certain groups of people. The information that reportedly led police to focus on the house and the car was provided by neighbors. Although many neighborhood residents attempt to do the right thing, eyewitness accounts are frequently erroneous and have implicated many an innocent person throughout history.

When Virginia residents find themselves facing drug charges, especially ones focused on the sale of drugs or drug dealing, it is important to challenge the incriminating evidence. If the evidence consists of eyewitness reports alone, defendants and their attorneys can work to discredit those providing the testimony or show how such testimony is often incorrect. Searches that uncover drug evidence can also be attacked on constitutional grounds if a search warrant was not obtained or properly executed.

Source: NBCWashington, "Citizen Tips Lead to Drug Arrests in Virginia," Aug. 2, 2013

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