Pennsylvania man and his brother face felony drug charges

The criminal justice system can be overly complex to the typical citizen with no formal, legal training. For this reason, if you are accused of a crime or are under investigation, you should reach out to a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney.

If you are facing criminal charges, it is extremely important that you are aware of any potential defenses you may have. Even in cases where there is no viable defense, there may be factors, which could lead to reduced charges or a reduced sentence. If you are convicted of a crime, you will face both direct and collateral consequences. Many convictions can lead to hefty fines, court costs and jail time. Even if you avoid incarceration with a sentence of probation, you will still have a criminal record, which could make it difficult to get a job and it may adversely affect your reputation in the community.

Two recently arrested Pennsylvania men could potentially face some of these direct and collateral consequences as a result of felony drug charges. According to law enforcement, a State College man was recently charged with 20 drug felonies related to alleged drug dealing.

Undercover agents form the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office allege that they bought cocaine from the man on seven separate occasions between November 2011 and February 2012. Authorities claim that the cocaine was brought to the area from New York. The suspect was allegedly dealing in the State College area.

At the time of the arrest, agents seized from the man's apartment a quarter pound of cocaine, which had a street value of $13,600, although the alleged street values of illegal drugs are routinely overly inflated by law enforcement in press releases. Agents also seized a 2005 Chrysler and $17,000 in cash. The suspect's brother, who allegedly delayed officers while the primary suspect flushed cocaine down the toilet, was also arrested.

In this case, Agents from Attorney General's Office conducted a search and seizure of the suspects' residence. Therefore, the suspects' attorneys must first determine whether the search was legal pursuant to the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. If the agents obtained a search warrant based upon drug purchases recently made by agents within the residence, then the search would usually be legal. If on the other hand, authorities failed to obtain a search warrant and lacked exigent circumstances to conduct a warrantless search and seizure, there is a good chance that the search was illegal. When law enforcement conducts an illegal search, any evidence unlawfully discovered can be "suppressed," meaning that the Commonwealth cannot use it in its case against a defendant. Usually, the granting of a suppression motion effectively ends the prosecution of a drug case.


Centre Daily Times, "Cocaine, car, cash seized in bust," Matt Carroll, Feb. 11, 2012


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