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Grandfather and grandson duo arrested for drug charges

Once again we find the specter of a very close family relationship supported by an allegedly intensive pattern of serious criminal activities. That seems to be true in Pennsylvania for a 73-year-old man and his 20-year-old grandson who lived together in their Pittsburgh home, and may have also been sharing hard drugs together. Police raided their home recently after a three-month investigation. They arrested both men on drug charges.

The grandson will also face gun charges, according to police. Among the contraband allegedly found were heroin bricks, drug packaging material, cocaine and guns. Police say that plainclothes officers had been investigating the two men. Presumably, this means that they dealt with both men at one time or another, by making drug purchases that will support drug trafficking charges. Presumably, this also means that they conducted the search and seizure under the authority of a valid search warrant.

If the foregoing is not true, then the search, seizure and arrests could face problems. A criminal search and seizure of a residential home must be based on probable cause and a search warrant would be necessary. The sparse news reports don't give the facts on those questions. But presuming that police were not that negligent, and that they obtained a reasonable cause warrant to search the home, then the accused individuals will probably want to consult with defense counsel about the prospects of an early plea agreement with the prosecution.

In Pennsylvania the procedure for a criminal prosecution on drug charges begins with arraignment, followed by a preliminary hearing where the prosecution must show a minimal amount of evidence. Defense counsel, however, can often use the hearing to obtain addition information on the nature of the prosecution's case. After the case is forwarded to the county courthouse for prosecution by the district attorney, the motions and discovery phases begin. At a later date if the case is not settled by a negotiated plea it will be scheduled for trial.

Source: Fox News, "73-year-old man, grandson arrested in Pittsburgh drug raid; police say they found heroin, guns," June 14, 2013

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