Police in South Carolina have reported that a 33-year-old man and 32-year-old woman were taken into custody on drug trafficking charges following a traffic stop in Kershaw County. Deputies from the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office say that they discovered more than two pounds of methamphetamine, an ounce of marijuana and $7,159 in cash in the trunk of a Mercedes-Benz sedan being used by the pair.
According to a KCSO representative, narcotics investigators stopped the car after observing it leave a Lugoff residence on the evening of May 17. Reports indicate that the home had been placed under surveillance a year earlier after the KCSO received a tip about drug trafficking. Deputies say that they searched the vehicle after detecting the odor of marijuana.
The man and woman have both been charged with methamphetamine trafficking. The man is also facing a marijuana possession charge. Records checks are said to have revealed that the two former Georgia residents both have several previous drug arrests. The KCSO says that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is assisting with the investigation and the case will likely be prosecuted in federal court.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may study police reports carefully when presented with facts like these. While the odor of marijuana may provide police officers with the probable cause needed to search a car without first obtaining a search warrant, they must still have a good reason to pull the vehicle over in the first place. Attorneys may argue that drug distribution charges should be dismissed when no such reason can be established or traffic stops were based on unverified or unreliable information.
Source: Douglas County Sentinel, “Meth, money, Mercedes seized in S.C. drug bust; two from west Georgia may face federal charges”, May 27, 2018