A 911 call about a man brandishing a gun at a motel in South Carolina on the night of April 29 led to the discovery and seizure of illegal drugs worth more than $55,000 according to a report from the Union County Sheriff’s Office. A 26-year-old man has been detained in connection with the seized narcotics. He faces a raft of misdemeanor and felony counts including methamphetamine trafficking, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a handgun and public intoxication.
Deputies were dispatched to the Union motel after a woman told 911 operators that a man had shown her two bags that appeared to contain drugs before pulling out a handgun and pointing it at her. When deputies arrived, they claim to have observed the man described to emergency operators standing in the parking lot. He is said to have told the deputies that he was helping his friends to repair a broken-down car.
The deputies then conducted a search of the man’s room. During this search, they claim to have found 890 grams of methamphetamine and 80 grams of marijuana. Deputies also allegedly recovered a loaded Smith & Wesson handgun, $1,481 in cash and four digital scale sets. According to the UCSO, the seized drugs have a street value of $55,600.
When presented with a set of facts like these, experienced criminal defense attorneys may study the transcripts of 911 calls closely to see if they provided law enforcement with probable cause to conduct a search without a warrant. Judges take Fourth Amendment protections seriously, and they may rule evidence discovered during warrantless searches inadmissible and order drug charges dismissed when police had time to obtain a search warrant but failed to do so.
Source: Fox Carolina, “Sheriff: Report of armed man at motel leads to major drug bust, $55K worth of meth seized”, Dal Kalsi, May 1, 2019
Source: WSPA, “Deputies seize $55,000 worth of meth during bust in Union Co.”, Staff report, May 1, 2019