2 arrested in Arizona in reported drug bust

Pinal County police reported two suspects were arrested on Oct. 30 outside of a Phoenix outlet mall. According to authorities, law enforcement had seen the suspects throwing bales of marijuana out of at least one vehicle while traveling on SR 347. A chase began when the suspects allegedly attempted to flee. The two involved vehicles then reportedly pulled up to the entrance of the Phoenix outlet mall. According to reports, the two men dashed into the mall in an apparent attempt to evade the officers. Witnesses in the parking lot stated that police yelled for them to stay in their vehicles. Officers chased the two alleged suspects and caught both outside of the mall. The men were arrested, handcuffed and taken into custody. Authorities reportedly found multiple bales of marijuana wrapped in plastic bags inside both vehicles. At the time of the report, it was unclear what charges the suspects would be facing or whether they would have bond set in their cases. When people are accused of drug trafficking, they may benefit by seeking the representation of a criminal defense attorney who accepts drug cases. People who are accused of crimes have a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney in court in order to defend themselves. An attorney may be able to review reports and evidence related to a case in order to identify potential legal defenses. He or she may then be able to help their client by filing evidentiary motions, appearing in court on their behalf and negotiating for pleas to lesser offenses. They may advocate on their client’s behalf by going to jury...

Police allegedly find marijuana and meth in Arizona residence

After executing a search warrant on Oct. 20, law enforcement officials allegedly found drugs at a Lake Havasu City residence, leading to the detainment of two men. According to authorities, the search warrant was part and parcel of an investigation conducted by the Lake Havasu City Police Department. During the search of the Lake Havasu City residence, detectives purportedly seized eight grams of marijuana and eight grams of methamphetamine. In addition to the suspected drugs, law enforcement officials also seized a firearm and multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia during the search of the residence. The two men detained as a result, a 31-year-old man and a 42-year-old man, are both facing charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The 42-year-old man alone is facing the additional charges of possession of dangerous drugs for sale and misconduct involving weapons. The 31-year-old man received a transfer to the custody of the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, reportedly. Since their detainment, the 31-year-old man has reportedly bonded out of custody. It is unclear if the 42-year-old man has posted his $150,000 cash-only bond. Filing drug charges against an individual does not necessarily lead to a conviction. Put under intense and microscopic scrutiny, the prosecution’s case may not prove to be tenable. For example, if police, during a search and seizure, do not act in a way that is consistent with department protocol or the United States Constitution, a criminal defense attorney could make an attempt to argue that the evidence was obtained unlawfully and should therefore be suppressed. Without substantial valid evidence, the prosecution’s case may not be strong enough...

Mother of slain Arizona girl may have sold drugs to killer

The mother of a young Arizona girl who was murdered in September may have sold methamphetamine to her daughter’s alleged killer, according to authorities. The girl’s mother, grandmother and stepfather were taken into custody on Oct. 15 on felony drug charges. Police investigators said the man charged with kidnapping and murdering the girl claimed he smoked meth in the girl’s Bullhead City home on Sept. 2, the day she was reported missing. The child’s body was located in a shallow grave on Sept. 3. A narcotics probe of the girl’s 29-year-old mother and 28-year-old stepfather reportedly turned up evidence that the couple was selling heroin and methamphetamine out of their house. Police believe the mother supplied the meth to the man accused of killing her daughter. Both parents were held at the Mohave County jail on a $250,000 bond, and they were assigned public defenders. The girl’s 59-year-old grandmother, who was caring for the child the night she disappeared, was detained on drug possession and transportation charges after police allegedly found drug paraphernalia in her bedroom. She was held on a $100,000 bond. Felony drug charges can lead to harsh penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence, if a defendant is convicted. Anyone arrested for drug trafficking or drug possession may want to contact an attorney to discuss their legal defense options. Depending on the details of the case, an attorney may be able to show police did not follow proper procedure while obtaining evidence, which could lead to a reduction or dismissal of charges. A lawyer could also work with prosecutors to arrange a plea deal, which could lead...

3 Arizona men accused of drug possession, theft

On Sept. 28, three Arizona residents were taken into custody after an officer’s suspicions were confirmed by a K-9 unit during a traffic stop. When the vehicle was searched, the deputies reportedly recovered alleged marijuana, supplies for the distribution and equipment that allowed them to alter merchandise UPC tags. Their vehicle was stopped on Interstate 40 for unknown reasons. A deputy reported that he smelled the odor of marijuana as officials approached the vehicle. Once a K-9 unit reportedly reacted to the scent, deputies searched the car. In addition to the drugs, authorities recovered a number of electronic equipment that could be used to de-activate security tags. It was believed that the three individuals were stealing merchandise from Walmart and returning the items for cash by printing their own receipts. The three men were identified as two 23-year-olds and a 22-year-old, all of whom were from Oklahoma City. Two of the men were charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, aggravated ID theft, possession of burglary tools and theft. The third man was additionally charged with altering physical evidence after authorities observed him allegedly attempting to destroy some receipts. All three were being held in custody in lieu of $20,000 bond. There are a number of defense strategies for those who are facing felony charges. In cases where the prosecution has strong evidence, a criminal defense attorney may be able to have the evidence suppressed if there is indication that the authorities failed to follow correct procedures during the search or subsequent investigation. This could possibly result in a dismissal of the charges or a weakened case against...

3 men accused of weapons trafficking after traffic stop

Various drug and weapons charges were handed to three men in Arizona after a traffic stop on Oct. 4. The incident began shortly after midnight when a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy allegedly spotted a driver commit a traffic violation on Interstate 10. After pulling the car over outside Casa Grande, the deputy claims to have discovered over 1,000 rounds of ammunition and 10 AK-47s contained in the vehicle. The three occupants of the vehicle were held in custody at Pinal County Jail for suspicion of committing several drug and weapons crimes. The men, ages 26, 36 and 52, were each charged for misconduct involving weapons, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony crime and trafficking in weapons. They also received drug charges for being in possession of marijuana and cocaine. According to reports, the 26-year-old man has prior convictions on his record for theft and drug trafficking. The 52-year-old man also has a previous conviction for trafficking marijuana. It was not reported when they will appear in court or bail was set. A person charged with trafficking weapons might decide to speak to an attorney about potential defense strategies that might be employed. In some cases, a person with a legal collection of firearms may end up being falsely accused of trafficking weapons. An attorney might look over police reports and all other evidence that the prosecution has in order to look for inconsistencies or weaknesses. An attorney might be able to cast enough doubt in the prosecution’s case against a defendant, leading to a reduction or dismissal of the charges. Source: KVOA.com, News 4...

New changes to Arizona’s medical marijuana law make waves

The Director of Arizona’s Department of Health Services, Will Humble, recently announced that those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Arizona may soon be able to legally use medical marijuana to relieve their symptoms. Interestingly, the announcement marks a significant deviation from Humble’s earlier stance regarding the use of marijuana in instances of PTSD. Indeed, Humble previously denied requests to add PTSD to the list of debilitating conditions that qualified individuals for medical marijuana cards, claiming the research to grant such a request simply did not exist. However, while this recent change in position certainly comes as welcomed news for those suffering from the devastating effects of PTSD – particularly veterans – there is a catch. For instance, not only does the new rule require victims of PTSD to wait until 2015, but it also insists that patients be able to prove that they are already receiving “conventional” treatment before a physician can sign their medical marijuana certification. These particular conditions have raised several eyebrows among members of advocacy groups – with one group even going as far as to file a lawsuit against the Department of Health Services. Specifically, the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association claims that PTSD victims should not have to wait several months for medical marijuana, not to mention that PTSD should be treated the same as all other debilitating conditions given its recent reclassification – meaning “conventional” treatment should not be a necessary condition for access to medical marijuana. While an individual is generally protected from criminal prosecution if he or she has a medical marijuana card and is in possession of an allowable...

Man accused of Phoenix murder may face reduced charges

A 42-year-old man who faced a first-degree murder charge, a capital offense, in relation to a July 2013 incident in Phoenix may face reduced charges. Prosecutors said they were working with the man toward a plea agreement to a second-degree murder charge, which could result in a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years. They indicated that despite the evidence implicating the man in the murder, they were unsure that they could win the case. Surveillance video allegedly showed the 42-year-old man stabbing the 31-year-old outside a residence. The man reportedly told authorities that he and the 31-year-old had been involved in an argument and that he blacked out afterwards. Several people were also recorded leaving the residence, some stepping over the victim who was lying in the driveway. A representative from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office did not offer a specific explanation for why prosecutors opted for a plea arrangement instead of taking the case to court. However, he implied that the attorney’s office felt that an acquittal was possible if the case went to trial. Though prosecuting attorneys may present video allegedly showing an accused person committing a crime, surveillance cameras may not provide clear images of the accused’s face. Defense attorneys are sometimes able to call evidence, even video surveillance, into question, particularly when several people were present at the scene of a crime and when clear images of their clients are not present. In some cases, criminal defense attorneys may be able to convince prosecutors to reduce the charges against their clients, particularly when prosecutors would prefer to avoid taking a case to court. Source:...

Brief Introduction to Marijuana Laws in Arizona

Some Arizona residents may benefit from understanding more about the state’s laws against marijuana. Arizona legislature prohibits any person from using, possessing, selling or producing marijuana. Transporting, transferring and importing marijuana are also prohibited in Arizona. State laws draw a distinction between possession for use and possession for sale. People possessing less than two pounds of marijuana for use are to be charged with a class 6 felony. People possessing between two and four pounds for use are to be charged with a class 5 felony. Anyone possessing more than four pounds of marijuana for use may be charged as a class 4 felony. People possessing less than two pounds for sale, or producing more than two pounds, are to be charged with a class 4 felony as well. Anyone possessing between two and four pounds for sale may be charged as a class 3 felony while producing less than two pounds is a class 5 felony. Possessing more than four pounds for sale or transporting, importing or transferring more than two pounds may be charged as a class 2 felony. If the amount of marijuana recovered during the arrest exceeds the thresholds set forth in Section 13-3405, the accused may not eligible for probation, a pardon, release or suspension of sentence until it’s already been served, unless it is commuted. In addition, defendants may also be required to pay a fine of $750 or three times the value of the marijuana recovered as determined by the court, whichever is greater. Anyone facing marijuana charges may benefit from contacting a defense lawyer as soon as possible. Lawyers may be...

5 accused of being involved in Arizona escort agency

Five people were recently taken into custody for allegedly operating an escort business in Arizona. Court documents indicate that the charges resulted from an investigation that began in 2013 and took months complete. The investigation reportedly began on April 30, 2013 According to officers, one of the accused, a 40-year-old man, was allegedly using a limousine company as a cover for an escort agency. They claim that proceeds garnered through prostitution were financing the agency. Undercover detectives reportedly placed a number of calls to the escort agency between April 2013 and September 2014 in order to arrange deals. The man and a 24-year-old woman were charged with multiple offenses, including operating a house of prostitution and money laundering. The woman allegedly admitted to the authorities that she was responsible for taking calls from potential customers and dispatching escorts. Additionally, she stated that the company also operated in California. Several individuals who were accused of being escorts were also taken into custody for responding to the calls of the undercover officers. Those who are accused of being involved in criminal activities such as soliciting a prostitute or operating an escort business may face severe consequences. A conviction might also affect an individual’s future opportunities for employment and even options for housing in some cases. A criminal defense lawyer could closely examine police reports and any witness statements for possible inconsistencies, which could potentially weaken the prosecution’s case against a defendant. A lawyer may also ensure that an accused person’s rights are protected during the proceedings. Source: CBS5AZ.com, “Police arrest owners of AZ-based escort service”, Phil Benson, September 10,...

18-year-old Arizona man charged in shooting that killed 1

An 18-year-old Arizona man who was accused of being involved in a shooting that left one person dead was taken into police custody on Sept. 3. According to the report, the incident occurred in the parking lot of a Taco Loco Grill located near the intersection of First Avenue and Fort Lowell Road on Aug. 29. Immediately following the shooting, the injured man was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Detectives say that the 18-year-old was responsible for the shooting, though the report did not state why they suspected him. A felony warrant for the man was issued. He was taken into custody following a traffic stop that occurred near the intersection of North Castro and West Kelso without incident on the morning of Sept. 3. At the time the report was released, he remained in custody after being charged with first-degree murder. Those who are charged with a felony may face serious consequences depending upon the type of charge. For example, someone who is facing a murder charge could potentially be sentenced to prison, serve a long probation once they are released from prison and be required to pay expensive fines. In addition, the conviction would also go on the person’s criminal record, which could potentially make it difficult to find appropriate employment or housing later in life. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, an attorney may be able to provide a strong defense for their accused client. For example, if the person was identified in surveillance video, the attorney may be able to prove that their client was misidentified and that they were...