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Drug charges filed after SWAT team raids residence

Drug raids in New Hampshire and elsewhere do not always produce the results that the police may have anticipated. In Manchester, for example, a recent arrest in which the SWAT team participated netted no more than one-half of one gram of cocaine. The police filed drug charges against the 24-year-old male resident and took a 45-year-old female resident into custody on a bench warrant involving an alleged motor vehicle violation.

The drug charges included one charge for possession of a controlled substance, presumably for the half-gram of cocaine. Authorities also charged the man with two counts of sale of a controlled drug. The details of the latter charges are unknown, but it indicates an alleged possible prior purchase or more made by an undercover agent. Obtained also in the raid was $700 and a shotgun.

Police indicated that the residence was believed to be the site of prior drug sales. The SWAT team was joined in the raid by the Special Investigative Division, and the operation was carried out on the authority of a search warrant. The defendant's counsel will be concerned with whether the search warrant was issued upon valid authority and whether there was probable cause to do so.    

In every criminal case involving the search of a private residence and the filing of drug charges, defense counsel will examine the facts thoroughly to determine whether the standards of the Fourth Amendment were met. This pertains to both the substance of what is contained in the warrant and to the procedures used in carrying it out.  The courts are particularly sensitive in raids of private residences due to the intensified right to privacy that exists within one's home. Such rights are guaranteed not only by the federal constitution but also through the applicable provisions of the law in New Hampshire. 

Source:, "Pair arrested after SWAT raid in Manchester", March 2, 2017

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