Police in Washington recently seized $1.16 million worth of narcotics in two separate arrests. According to multiple reports, police say a man was arrested in Tumwater on suspicion of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver heroin and that they seized about 4 pounds of the drug valued at $440,000. Law enforcement officers also say two men were taken into custody in Olympia on suspicion of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver methamphetamine and cocaine. According to reports, that second arrest led to confiscating about 9 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $600,000 and about 2 pounds of cocaine valued at $125,000.
Seattle drug crime defense attorney Steve Karimi explains when law enforcement officers can search a home for controlled substances and what can be seized during a search.
When Can Police Conduct a Home Search for Controlled Substances?
It is illegal to possess, obtain, manufacture, and sell controlled substances that violate the laws outlined in Washington's Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Because of the illegal nature of the drugs, individuals do not have a property right to them, meaning that they may be permanently seized or taken by law enforcement officers during a search.
In most cases, law enforcement officers must obtain a search warrant to look for controlled substances in an individual's home. A search warrant is a court issued document that gives law enforcement officers the right to search the home of a person suspected to illegally possess controlled substances. A search conducted without a warrant is, in many instances, a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects against illegal searches and seizures conducted by government officials, including state and local police.
In Washington, a judge may issue a search warrant to a law enforcement official upon the showing of probable cause that any controlled substance is kept or being used, manufactured, sold, administered, distributed, produced or possessed in the specific home subject to the search.
What Can Police Seize From a Home?
Illegal drugs can be permanently seized or taken by law enforcement officers during a search. Law enforcement officers can confiscate controlled substances that are manufactured, distributed, dispensed, acquired, or possessed in violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, and all hazardous chemicals used or intended to be used to manufacture illegal drugs. All materials, tools, products, containers, and equipment used for manufacturing, delivering, importing or exporting controlled substances are also subject to seizure during a search. Additionally, law enforcement officers can seize drug paraphernalia and money or things of value that they believe have been used in the purchase or sale of controlled substances.
Drugs and drug-related items seized from a home may be used against a defendant in criminal court as evidence that a drug crime was committed.
Contact Seattle Drug Crime Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi by calling (206) 621-8777 for a free consultation. Attorney Steve Karimi handles all types of drug crime cases.