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Shoe department drug sale alleged as a basis for drug charges

A detective who may have been shopping for shoes in a New Hampshire department store allegedly observed a drug transaction between two men. He reports seeing two men exchange cash and drugs inside the store. After the transaction, police reportedly followed and arrested the seller on drug charges after stopping him in his vehicle.

The unlikely scenario resulted in the arrest of a 26-year-old man, identified as the seller, who was charged only with several counts of possession of a controlled drug. Considering police reports stating that the man was found with 75 bags of heroin and 23 bags of cocaine, it is possible that the charges will be enhanced later. A captain with the Salem Police declined any knowledge of why the detective was in the department store shoe department at that time.

The police also reported stopping the second man in the transaction, who they identified as the buyer. They say that the man confirmed what took place. They also report that they released him and that they may arrest him later.

The police also report that the drug seller was followed to the parking lot and then the details of his vehicle were radioed to the rest of the force. They later stopped him on Route 28 and allegedly then found the drugs inside his vehicle. It is unclear why the purported seller was allowed to drive away prior to stopping him, but there could be an attempt to search the car without probable cause to do so.  

The police may be relying on the prospective testimony of the alleged buyer to try and convict the accused of the drug charges under New Hampshire law. That may be why they did not arrest the buyer for possession. However, the buyer could have been an informant and the operation by the police may not be as spontaneous as it is portrayed. Defense counsel will try and peel away the surface facts and determine the dynamics of the bust. Constitutional issues may also play a factor if it determined that any of the reported facts indicate a lapse in proper police procedure.

Source: eagletribune.com, "One arrested in Salem department store drug deal", Kiera Blessing, Feb. 24, 2017

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