According to officers with the Owatonna Police Department, a 50-year-old man was charged with first-degree drug possession on March 24 following a traffic stop in the town that happened on March 22. A passenger in the vehicle was taken into custody on a warrant.
The man was formally charged on March 24 when he appeared in court for his first court appearance. The judge set bail for the man in the amount of $500,000.
At the time of the vehicle stop, the man reportedly had several pending cases. In one, he was charged in February 2015 with selling a controlled substance in the first degree. In September 2015, the man was charged again with possession and sales of drugs as well as with receiving a gun that had been stolen. In December 2015, the man was charged with identity theft and theft, both felony level offenses. It is unclear what prompted police to stop his vehicle on March 22. It is also unclear why they searched the man’s vehicle or if he gave them permission to do so.
Drug charges may lead to very long prison sentences, especially when there are multiple offenses involving drug sales or possession with intent to sell. Other aggravating factors may include the person’s possessing a gun while engaged in drug sales. People who are charged may want to get help from a criminal defense attorney. If the police did not have reasonable suspicion that the person they stop was committing an offense or had just committed an offense when they stop them, the evidence gathered as a result of it could be inadmissible. A lawyer may look for such potential constitutional problems when preparing a defense strategy.
Source: Minnesota CBS, “Owatonna man facing charges for meth possession,” March 25, 2016