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New drug charges against New Hampshire woman in car crash case

Last September, two bicyclists were killed and two others injured after a car driven by a 19-year-old New Hampshire woman struck them.

The driver is accused of manslaughter and negligent homicide, among other charges. Police say she was high on fentanyl at the time of the crash; a controlled substance allegedly supplied to her by a 48-year-old Hampton woman who now faces serious drug charges in the matter.

The 48-year-old's case is complicated by an arrest three months before the fatal crash. She had been charged by police at that time for trafficking in heroin, cocaine, crack and oxycodone.

Police say that while she was out on bail on those charges, she sold the pain-killer fentanyl to the 19-year-old, who then crashed her Honda into a group of bicyclists on Route 1A.

In addition to the 48-year-old's original charges, she faces additional allegations of possession of a controlled drug while on release, dispensing a controlled drug while on release and allowing an improper person to drive.

There are questions about the admissibility of evidence seized during a search of the older woman's home in connection with the original charges, however. A court has yet to rule on possible rights violations by police in that raid.

Police said that during the search, they found heroin, cocaine and small amounts of other narcotics in her home.

Some might conclude that the search of the woman's home was justified because police found drugs in the residence. But our Fourth Amendment requires police to have probable cause before they enter a person's home. An experienced criminal defense attorney will thoroughly examine the search process in an effort to protect not only the rights of the defendant, but the rights of all other citizens as well.

Source: New Hampshire Union Leader, "Alleged Hampton drug dealer indicted on more charges linked to crash that killed two," James Kimble, Jan. 20, 2014

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