A 33-year-old West Virginia woman was charged with six felony drug counts after allegedly giving police consent to search her home and phone on the afternoon of Nov. 15. During the searches, a West Virginia State Police trooper says that he discovered undisclosed but reportedly significant quantities of marijuana and methamphetamine along with a large amount of U.S. currency and drug packaging materials. The Marion County resident is being held at the North Central Regional Jail on charges including drug possession, drug possession with the intent to deliver and conspiracy to deliver illegal narcotics.
According to a WVSP report, the trooper was dispatched to the woman’s apartment on Clayton Street in Rivesville after a concerned citizen called in a tip about possible criminal activity. The trooper says that he gave the woman a Miranda warning and asked for permission to search the premises after observing drug paraphernalia in plain sight on a coffee table. The trooper claims that the woman then gave him written permission to conduct a search.
During the ensuing search, the trooper claims that he heard the woman’s phone alert several times. The trooper says that he found this suspicious and asked the woman if he could search her phone. The woman is said to have given the trooper written consent to search her phone. The evidence allegedly discovered on the phone led to the woman being charged with conspiracy and drug distribution in addition to drug possession.
Individuals facing the prospect of imminent arrest on serious drug charges may believe that cooperating fully with police officers is in their best interests, but experienced criminal defense attorneys might advise them to refuse consent to search their persons, vehicles or residences. When consent is given, anything police officers discover will usually be admitted as evidence. However, items seized during a non-consensual search are sometimes excluded even when police obtained a search warrant.
Source: WDTV, Fairmont woman arrested after troopers say they found drugs in her apartment, Staff report, Nov. 18, 2019