Earlier this month, Chicago police reportedly found a man in the West Lawn neighborhood who led them to a hefty stash of illegal drugs. The man had apparently been beaten and tied up blocks from his home, where police found 170 pounds of cocaine and 50 pounds of marijuana. According to the 33-year-old, an individual had kidnapped and beat him while he was walking near his home.
Sources say that it isn’t clear how police discovered the narcotics, but that once they realized what they found, they alerted the narcotics division of the police department and had the apartment secured. After that, they obtained a search warrant and searched the home. During that search, officers found an additional 50 pounds of marijuana, 2 pounds of heroin, over a half pound of methamphetamine, as well as $47,000 in cash, two handguns. Police also seized three vehicles.
The man was, following the investigation, met with various drug possession charges, including possession of heroin, cocaine, meth, and marijuana.
As we frequently point out on this blog, criminal investigation is an important area of concern when it comes to building a thorough criminal defense. In order for prosecutors to use evidence of possession of drugs at trial, police must have acquired the drugs legally. When evidence has not been acquired legally, the defendant has the opportunity to have it suppressed, which can weaken a drug case considerably, sometimes to the point of collapsing it entirely.
For this reason, in building a defense strategy, it is critical to bring police investigation into scrutiny.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Police: 170 pounds of cocaine seized from kidnap victim’s home,” Peter Nickeas & Liam Ford, September 7, 2013.