No less than nine people were arrested in connection with a drug bust in Hinds County this week. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the bust took place on Glenwood Street in Jackson. At this time, very few details of the arrests have been released. Officials with the Hinds County Sheriff's Department reportedly found three pounds of marijuana and some cocaine. Suspects are facing various charges including possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and possession of cocaine.
A woman in Jackson was recently sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for drug charges. According to WJTV News Channel 12, Angelia Fortenberry was sentenced for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. She was also given three years of supervised release following her prison sentence. She was indicted in connection with a California to Mississippi drug network involving over 100 kilograms of methamphetamine.
A man was recently sentenced to 60 years for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. According to WJTV News Channel 12, 36-year-old Kendal Deval Martin was sentenced to 60 years without the possibility of probation, parole or early release. Since Martin is considered a 'habitual and subsequent' drug offender, he will have to serve the entire sentence, effectively spending the rest of his life behind bars.
Earlier this week, a woman has been sentenced in a Jackson court for possession and intent to distribute. According to WJTV News Channel 12, the conviction was the result of an October of 2013 arrest. Apparently, 34-year-old Mercedes Sanchez was headed to Atlanta, when law enforcement officers with the Richland Police Department stopped her on a routine traffic violation. Her vehicle was searched, and 47 pounds of methamphetamine were discovered. The drugs were found to be 99.8 percent pure.
Officials Seized 17 Pounds of Cocaine
Last week, 21 marijuana plants were found in an Attala County home. According to WJTV News Channel 12, 25-year-old Mickele Roby was arrested on Thursday and charged with manufacture of marijuana. Apparently, law enforcement officers were at the home serving an unrelated warrant when they found the plants, two handguns and various pieces of growing equipment. Roby's bond was set at $5,000.
Recently I was hired to defend a young man who was charged with one felony count of possession of marijuana. The entire amount seized by the police was 34.5 grams - just enough to be considered a felony by Mississippi law. According to a witness in the vehicle, the officer explained why he pulled my client over: "You have an out of county tag, and you were driving through this neighborhood late at night."
Here at Coxwell & Associates, we hear many different versions of traffic stops when we work cases, but I had never heard a witness say something to this effect. I advised them that when we receive the discovery in this case we would be able to determine exactly why the officer pulled my client over that night. If we had the facts on our side, a suppression hearing may be our best route.
A few months later after my client was indicted and arraigned, we requested all of the evidence the State had against my client. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as the local rules regarding discovery, basically demands the prosecution furnish to the defendant this evidence. Everyone has the right to confront those who have evidence against them, and a good criminal defense attorney will search through the evidence to understand exactly what the state intends to prove at trial. In this case, the report actually stated exactly what the witness had told me. My client was "guilty" of driving at night with an out of county tag, so in the mind of the officer, he could conduct a traffic stop and then search the vehicle without my client's consent. The United States Supreme Court and even the Mississippi Supreme Court begs to differ with the officer on this issue.
After a fifteen minute discussion with the assistant district attorney in their office, they agreed to dismiss the case and conceded the officer needed more training in this area.
This case is an example of why everyone should always discuss their case with a reputable attorney to explore what options are available under our current laws. When someone is charged with a crime, it is imperative to secure a knowledgeable attorney in that specific area. Find someone who you trust to work the case on your behalf. Call us and we will be glad to set up an appointment to discuss your case with you.