Five people were detained and charged with trying to make methamphetamine after a May 22 investigation of their home. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office says that investigators discovered several items consistent with making the drug when they searched the home.
The people taken into custody include two men aged 29 and 31 and three women aged 24, 32 and 37. Deputies say that all five were in the house when investigators searched it. However, authorities also say that a sixth person, a 21-year-old male, lived in the home but left before investigators arrived for the search. A warrant for the sixth person to be detained for manufacturing drugs has been issued.
The accused could face hefty fines and jail or prison sentences if they are convicted. However, their lawyers may question whether authorities performed an illegal search and seizure to obtain any evidence that was gathered during the search. If so, the evidence may be thrown out of the case. An illegal search and seizure happens when law enforcement officials do not have probable cause and the residents’ permission or a warrant to search the home of the accused. Without the evidence, the lawyers could argue for the charges to be dismissed for lack of evidence.
The lawyers might also question if authorities violated the rights of the accused. This may mean performing an improper search of a woman or not reading the Miranda rights to the accused. Evidence obtained during a violation of rights could result in the evidence being ruled inadmissible.
Source: WCSC, “Five charged, one sought after investigators find meth lab at Ladson home“, Ray Rivera, May 27, 2014