The authorities frequently arrest and prosecute people on charges of possessing illegal drugs, but they tend to focus their investigations on those they believe are selling the drugs. The policy behind this is to go after the criminal networks that supply these drugs to the public.
Still, no one should assume that the people who end up on the receiving end of these charges are necessarily guilty, nor that they are career criminals.
Pennsylvania man arrested
According to a recent news story, a former member of the school board in a Pennsylvania town was arrested and faces multiple drug trafficking and weapons charges.
The Bellwood man was arrested following an investigation by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and Pennsylvania State Police. After obtaining warrants, law officers searched the man’s home and two storage units. Officers claimed they seized large amounts of methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs at the locations, as well as firearms and ammunition.
In 2020, when the man was still a school board member, he was arrested after a traffic stop in which police said they found illegal drugs and weapons. He resigned his seat on the school board and pleaded guilty to felony charges in that case.
Drug trafficking charges are much more serious than possession charges under Pennsylvania law. Where a first-time offense with a small amount of illegal drugs may be treated as a misdemeanor, drug trafficking charges are typically treated as felonies. The penalties get higher with repeat offenses.
It’s also important to note that a person who is found in possession of more than certain specified quantities of a drug is presumed to be engaged in trafficking. In other words, if the person has more than might be expected for their personal use, they can be charged as though they intended to sell the drugs.