A man who lives in New Orleans is facing serious drug charges after police searched his home and found over 30 grams of heroin inside the residence. Among other charges, the man faces allegations of drug possession with the intent to distribute and possession of drugs within 2,000 feet of an area school. The latter charge carries with it a stiffer penalty than simple drug possession, presumably because there were drugs near areas where minors congregate.
Police say they also booked the man on other outstanding arrest warrants and for violating parole. Police say that in addition to the drugs, they also found almost $900 cash in the man’s home. The reports are that the police searched the man’s home pursuant to a warrant, but the details of how the police came to obtain that warrant are not available. Likewise, it is not clear where exactly the police located the drugs in the man’s home or if anyone else was living there.
This story is just of one of many situations in which drug charges stem from police searching a person’s private residence. Law enforcement authorities are very limited as to when they can go into a person’s home and search for contraband like drugs or weapons and, usually, they have to have a warrant in order to do so.
Even when police do get a warrant, as is the case here, a criminal defendant can still challenge both the warrant and the underlying search. Whether a Louisiana resident would have good grounds to do so depends heavily on what is in the search warrant and the facts and circumstances surrounding why a judge chose to grant it.
Source: The Times-Picayune, “New Orleans man arrested after officers find 34 grams of heroin in his home: NOPD,” Laura McKnight, April 28, 2017