November 2012 Archives

Holiday Weekend Patrols Produce DUI And Drug Arrests

November 29, 2012

714570_light_5.jpgThe Thanksgiving holiday week is one of America's favorite times of the year. During the day we eat our turkey, play and watch football, and take advantage of all the Black Friday shopping sales. But the Thanksgiving week and weekend is also known as a popular nightlife time. In fact, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the single most popular bar night of the year, and the Friday and Saturday after are not far behind. And whenever there is a party, you can be sure that police are not far behind to come crash it. The Maryland State Police recently made an attempt to crash the holiday week party by ramping up patrols across the state's highways. Police were specifically targeting the roads in and out of popular nightlife spots and conducted almost 9,000 traffic stops over the holiday weekend. Out of the 9,000 traffic stops, nearly 100 resulted in an arrest for DUI. Close to 60 people were arrested or cited with drug offenses by state troopers, and over 100 were arrested for other crimes. Police also reported that 3 guns were confiscated during the traffic stops.

The Maryland State Police ramped up their holiday patrols in all 22 barracks across the state, with orders to look for aggressive drivers, speeders, drivers not wearing their seatbelts, and impaired drivers. The state police did not conduct a DUI checkpoint over the weekend, but instead relied on a more aggressive patrol initiative. Baltimorecriminaldefenselawyerblog.com has previously posted articles about the futility of DUI checkpoints in the state, and the recent holiday patrol proves this point. Over 1 percent of the drivers that were stopped by police patrols over the weekend were suspected of drunk driving. Past Maryland checkpoint have resulted in about one half of one percent of drivers being suspected of drunk driving. This is not to say that the ramped up road patrols are without flaws, but rather to say they are at least more effective than checkpoints.

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Candy Bar Thief Arrested On Marijuana Distribution Charges

November 23, 2012

24579_bar_of_chocolate.jpgIt was like stealing candy from a baby. At least it was for the police officers who recently arrested a Dundalk man for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Early in the morning hours employees at a Pennsylvania gas station observed the man placing unidentified candy bars in his pockets. The employees called 911 and law enforcement began searching the immediate area for a man matching the description. The man was spotted within ten minutes by local cops, who detained the Maryland man. After confirming the identification of the candy bar thief, police officers arrested the man for shoplifting. Search incident to arrest revealed two candy bars worth a total of $3.58. It is unclear whether the candy bars were king size, or if the gas station simply charges almost two dollars per bar. Nonetheless, the man would have likely avoided a trip to the local jail had he only been found in possession of candy, but that was not the case.

The Baltimore County man was also found to be in possession of 11 small bags of marijuana, which police claim were packaged for sale. Police did not say just how much marijuana was in each baggie, or whether they discovered any additional evidence that would indicate possession with intent to distribute, but the man was booked on that felony charge along with misdemeanor retail theft. He was released on $5,000 dollars bail. The defendant recently waived his right to a preliminary hearing for the felony distribution case in the same manner that a defendant would waive a preliminary in Maryland. According to Pennsylvania court records, the Dundalk man has one prior conviction for possession of marijuana in addition to this current arrest.

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Man Arrested After 150 MPH Eastern Shore High Speed Chase

November 15, 2012

1397111_need_for_speed.jpgA Delaware resident was recently arrested on Maryland's Eastern Shore after he allegedly led police on a multi county high speed chase. State Police troopers along with the Kent County Sheriffs Department collaborated in apprehending the suspect, who was charged with multiple traffic infractions and crimes. Some of the more serious crimes included fleeing and eluding, DUI, and negligent driving. The chase originated near Chestertown, which is the county seat, and largest city in Kent County. At about 2 in the afternoon, law enforcement received a call about a suspected drunk driver. Sheriffs responded to the area of the call, and one officer observed a Dodge Charger that matched the description in the call speeding along Route 213. The Officer initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver of the Charger. The contact with the Officer did not last long, as the driver took off at a high rate of speed.

The stopping officer immediately called for backup and gave chase after the suspect. In a desperate attempt to avoid law enforcement, the suspect turned onto U.S. 301 and allegedly accelerated to speeds near 150 miles per hour. Despite the exceptionally high rate of speed, law enforcement officers did not abandon their pursuit and a cross county chase continued into Queen Anne's County. The suspect apparently lost the cops at one point, but later came to a stop near route 300 where he was arrested. At the time of the initial report, it does not appear that anyone was injured in the chase or that there was any sort of car accident. The suspect allegedly decided on his own volition to give up trying to flee from police.

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Voters Approve Marijuana Legalization Law In Two States

November 8, 2012

231490_skunk_dog.jpgMore campaign and lobbyist money was spent in 2012 than in any other election year in American history. Whether it was the estimated 3 billion dollars spent on the presidential race, or the 90 million dollars spend on expanding Maryland's gambling laws, this Election Day will not soon be forgotten. And for those who have been fighting the decades long battle to legalize marijuana, this Election Day may go down in history as the vote that started it all. Two states, Colorado and Washington have passed laws that will effectively legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The Colorado law makes it legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of pot, and authorizes homeowners to have up to 6 plants for the purposes of cultivating the drug. The Washington law also authorizes carrying up to an ounce, but requires that users buy their stash from state licensed distributors rather than growing it at home. Both states make still maintain that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of the drug, with Washington establishing a blood THC limit. Smoking marijuana in public will still be illegal and violators are subject to citation and fines similar to a public consumption of alcohol violation. Supporters of the propositions, which will turn into law within the next few months, were out in force celebrating the victory. Meanwhile, the opposition was left questioning the law's supposed benefits as well as the complications that will accompany implication of the state laws.

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Synthetic Marijuana Causes Controversy in Frederick

November 2, 2012

517913_pasta_spice.jpgThe synthetic marijuana controversy is back in the news again in Maryland. Clashes between vendors and members of the community where the fake drug is being sold continue to butt heads, and Frederick is at the center of this latest dispute. A cigar store that also sells beer and wine on Market Street in downtown Frederick has seen sales of synthetic marijuana boom in the last few months. Commonly known as spice, which was the one of the product's original names, synthetic marijuana is actually a blend of natural herbs that is sprayed with a chemical compound. The chemical is not one specific compound, but rather one of many that is designed to mimic the effects of THC. Many of these chemicals have been made illegal by the federal government, including the original spice and K2 compounds, but manufacturers have created new chemicals to skirt the federal regulations. The synthetic drug now lines the shelves of various tobacco shops and liquor stores in Maryland, and the product is flying off the shelves. While storeowners and smokers are thrilled about the product's availability, members of the community are voicing their displeasure with spice sales.

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