The Pennsylvania legislature has enacted laws creating harsh penalties for people convicted of drug charges. Police try to curb drug distribution and drug trafficking through drug busts and prosecutors fight hard to get drug convictions. However, drugs are still very prevalent in the Philadelphia area. This fact does not stop the police from arresting people or the prosecutors from seeking convictions for various drug offenses though.
Two men were arrested outside of Philadelphia after police entered an apartment complex and allegedly found a very large amount of heroin in cars in the parking lot of the apartment. The police also allegedly found thousands of dollars in cash and a large press police say is used to compress large quantities of drugs. The police said that the estimated value of the heroin was $2 million. The police also allegedly found a loaded gun in a storage unit not in the apartment complex. The prosecutor wants to send a message and is charging the men with very serious drug charges.
When charging people with drug possession with the intent to deliver, police and prosecutors look at various aspects before actually charging the suspects. They look at things like the quantity the person allegedly possessed, the type of drug, the packaging of the drug, the amount of cash on hand, the type of denominations the person allegedly possessed and others.
If convicted of a drug offense, a mandatory minimum sentence may apply. Factors that might trigger such a sentence are the type and weight of the drug, whether the person has prior convictions, whether there was an intent to deliver and others. However, until a person is convicted they are presumed innocent and there are many defenses to drug charges. In some instances, the charge may be dismissed because the police violated the person's Fourth Amendment rights during the search and seizure of the drugs.
There are many people who are charged with drug offenses in Philadelphia. Convictions are not automatic simply because one is charged though. Experienced attorneys understand these rights and can be helpful in guiding a person through the criminal justice system.
Source: Fox 29 Philadelphia, "Two men arrested after alleged $2 million drug bust" Dave Kinchen, Sept. 30, 2013