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Federal Drug Charges Archives

Workers at Air Force Reserve base arrested on drug charges

Getting hired to perform work on a military base may be a good opportunity for residents of the Pittsburgh area, but readers should be aware that the normal rules of police procedure and privacy rights may change once they get there. That may have come into play in the arrest of two men at the Air Force Reserve base near Pittsburgh on suspicion of drug possession. The men's vehicle was searched after a guard at the base claimed that he smelled marijuana in their vehicle.

Police search of vehicle leads to drug charges

In criminal cases involving drug charges in the Pittsburgh area, one thing that most defense attorneys look for is whether the evidence being used against their client was legally obtained by the police. Most people know that officers generally need a search warrant to enter their homes, but people in motor vehicles also have some protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. If those rights are violated, under the exclusionary rule any evidence gathered against a suspect during an illegal search may be suppressed in court.

PA Supreme Court allows warrantless undercover text messages

A Pennsylvania State Police trooper did not violate state law when he posed as someone else and exchanged text messages with a drug crimes suspect even though he did so without a warrant, the state Supreme Court recently ruled. The ruling, which is similar to amendments scheduled to go into effect to the state's Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act, means that law enforcement may not have to obtain a warrant before receiving electronic communications from people while posing as a civilian.

Police snooping of phone call leads to drug arrest

A phone conversation that was "overheard" by a suburban Pittsburgh police officer led to the arrest of a 48-year-old woman on suspicion of drug distribution. With such serious charges against the woman and her son, who made the phone call, one question that may be raised at trial is whether the officer was legally entitled to listen in on the conversation.

Pittsburgh-area man facing federal meth conspiracy charges

Most people in Pittsburgh know that the federal government aggressive prosecutes those suspected of drug trafficking. With federal sentencing guidelines forcing courts to impose lengthy sentences in many cases, a drug charge in federal court can be very serious for residents of Pennsylvania.

Police call leads to warrantless search, drug arrests

Back on Oct. 10, we discussed how police officers in Pittsburgh sometimes search people's homes and seize property without having obtained a search warrant first. Though the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is generally interpreted to require that law enforcement obtain a warrant before entering and searching a home, exceptions to that rule do exist. In cases where officers conducted a warrantless search, the officers and prosecutors who bring charges based on the search's results often will claim one of these exceptions as justification.

Ex-Pittsburgh Steelers doctor leveled with drug charges

Federal prosecutors have accused a Pittsburgh physician who was the team doctor for the Steelers for 20 years with supplying bodybuilders and other athletes with performance-enhancing drugs and painkillers over the past seven years. Two other men were also charged in what the U.S. Attorney's Office is calling a drug conspiracy.

Man arrested after Pittsburgh police respond to fight call

Readers may be surprised to learn that Pittsburgh police arrested a local man on suspicion of marijuana dealing based on evidence they gathered while visiting his home on an unrelated matter. As a result of a pair of police searches of his home, the man was arrested on Oct. 8 on a variety of serious drug charges.

Police raid students' apartment, arrest roommates

Three students at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania were arrested early in the morning of Sep. 23 after police raided their apartment and said they found marijuana. Few details are available, including the amount of marijuana officers allegedly found or what evidence they had against the students to justify their receiving a search warrant of their home. However, it appears likely authorities will attempt to paint the three, all of whom play on the IUP football team, as co-conspirators in a marijuana distribution scheme.

Search warrant for music festival ruled unconstitutional

A search warrant executed by police on attendants of a Fayette County music festival in 2009 was too broad and violated the Fourth Amendment, a federal judge ruled on Aug. 31. Under the principle of the exclusionary rule, the decision will likely exclude evidence of drugs police allegedly found on the concert goers.

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