A couple who fell asleep outside of a SunTrust Bank branch in the Florida Panhandle will face criminal charges related to drug trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia as well as possession of weapons. According to reports, the 23-year old woman and a 40-year old man were approached by police officers who found them passed out on the evening of Aug. 12.
When the officers arrived on scene to wake up the couple and interview them, a strong marijuana odor reported permeated the air which ostensibly gave the officers probable cause to carry out a search. The press release issued by the police department indicates that the officers found less than 20 grams of marijuana, a small bag of heroin, 6 ounces of methamphetamine, three handguns, ammunition. a few tablets of the prescription drug lorazepam, and more than $6,000 in cash.
The man is a convicted felon from Georgia who was on probation and carrying a concealed weapon when he was arrested. The combination of drug charges and weapons violations while on probation can bring serious consequences.
The woman was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon. The charge related to cannabis possession could be treated as a misdemeanor. Cases related to drug crimes in Florida must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. In these types of cases, the conduct of the officers and the way they carried out the search will certainly be looked into by criminal defense lawyers. If it can be established that there was no probable cause to conduct a search, lawyers could challenge the admissibility of the evidence that was subsequently seized.
Source: NWF Daily News, “Pooped pair awaken to arrest on drugs, weapons charges“, Aug. 15, 2017