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South Carolina individuals detained after investigation

The Lexington County sheriff announced the detainment of three individuals as a result of an undercover investigation in a news release on June 10. The sheriff reported that two men, ages 53 and 27, and one woman, age 20, were taken into custody on drug-related charges after raids on the men's homes. All three suspects are residents of Lexington County.

The first raid occurred at the 53-year-old man's home. Drug enforcement officers claimed that they discovered 19 marijuana plants in the course of the search along with evidence of a methamphetamine lab, a reportedly stolen vehicle and a handgun. The second raid, executed at the 27-year-old man's home, allegedly produced marijuana, another reportedly stolen vehicle and additional handguns. The three suspects were in custody at the Lexington County Detention Center pending charges of weapon possession during commission of a violent crime, manufacture of methamphetamine, distribution of meth and distribution of marijuana.

South Carolina law provides for heavy penalties for drug trafficking crimes. A conviction for distributing or manufacturing methamphetamine carries a sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of no less than $25,000 for a first offense. Distribution of marijuana is also punishable by a sentence of up to five years imprisonment and a fine of $5,000.

A criminal defense attorney in a case like this one would likely examine the legality of the raids conducted on the men's homes. If the attorney discovered flaws in the execution of the raids, the evidence discovered might be rendered inadmissible at trial.

Source: South Carolina Bar, "Drugs"

Source: The State, "Three arrested in Lexington County after undercover drug investigation", Rachael Lowe, June 10, 2014

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