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Indictment planned on bath salt drug charges

Criminal charges against a Woodstock, Virginia, man accusing him of trafficking in illegal "bath salts" drugs were dismissed in court, but the prosecutor indicated that an indictment on those charges was planned. The 73-year-old man appeared in court in a wheelchair and using an oxygen tent to help him breathe.

The prosecutor indicated an intent to go forward with accusations of drug-related offenses, including three counts of manufacturing drugs, maintaining a business premises as a nuisance from which drugs were vended and a conspiracy to make controlled substances.

The government is also seeking to try to impose a forfeiture on $194,436 in cash seized from the defendant, claiming that the funds were the proceeds of illegal sale and manufacture of illegal drugs. The defendant allegedly used his business, BB&L Discount, in connection with drug manufacturing or sales.

Police claimed that a man was found in an unresponsive condition at the business and had to be rushed to the hospital where he reportedly said that he had smoked an artificial cannabinoid called 7H Cush that he stated he had received from the defendant, who owns the business. Sheriff's investigators also claimed to have carried out a number of controlled buys of illegal substances from the business premises using an informant.

In a subsequent raid on the business pursuant to a search warrant, officers reported taking several hundred containers of bath salts and suspected synthetic cannabinoids. One of the issues in many drug prosecutions is often the validity of search warrants under which searches and seizures of homes and business premises are conducted.

Such warrants must be based on reliable information that there is probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime will be found on the premises and specify what is to be searched for and seized. Frequently, such warrants are obtained on the basis of information from confidential informants who often are accused criminals with pending cases themselves. Some are not reliable or accurate and may be motivated to make false accusations against others in exchange for leniency in their own cases. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know how determine whether to challenge the validity of warrants based on such information.


Source: 
NV Daily.com, "Accused bath salts dealer in court" Alex Bridges, Nov. 22, 2013

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