Maryland law enforcement personnel have arrested a man they claim is part of a gang on drug charges. After a obtaining a search warrant, they said that they found almost 160 grams of a marijuana-like substance, drug paraphernalia and close to $800 in cash.
In addition to the drugs, they also encountered an alligator in his home. The alligator was in good health, and animal control took custody of the reptile.
The two charges against the defendant include possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Law enforcement personnel may file more charges and are waiting for the results of chemical tests of other substances allegedly found in the defendant’s residence.
When someone is accused of possessing large amounts of drugs and drug trafficking, a criminal defense attorney might ask the court to reduce charges through a plea agreement. In a plea agreement, law enforcement, prosecution, defense lawyers and the defendant work to reach an acceptable compromise for sentencing, sometimes in exchange for testimony or evidence that leads to the arrests of others in drug trafficking. Defendants admit guilt in court but could serve a reduced sentence, depending on the terms of the agreement.
Drug crimes in Maryland, like most states, include mandatory sentencing penalties. These are determined by the type and amount of drug the person possesses. The courts also consider other factors at sentencing, such as the defendant’s prior criminal history. A litigator can attempt to present the defendant in a positive light to the court.
Source: WTVR-TV, “Maryland man charged when marijuana and alligator found at home,” Alix Bryan, Nov. 5, 2012