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Suitcase search leads to drug trafficking charges

Can a drug trafficking charge in Wisconsin stick against a person who tries to board a plane with $24,000 in cash? That's what happened in the case of a 20-year-old man who planned to board a plane for San Francisco in September. When he went through security, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) technology detected abnormalities in his luggage. The officials searched his suitcase and found the cash.

TSA officials alerted local police and the authorities obtained a search warrant for the man's home. Details of the request for the search warrant were not disclosed, although they may play an important role in the resolution of this criminal case. When criminal charges result from a warrant that was obtained without the person being able to object, the accused has an opportunity later to attack the basis for the warrant, its authorization and its execution. But in the meantime, the damage may already have occurred.

When the man's house was searched, another $10,000 was found. Police also seized what they characterized as a half pound of marijuana. According to authorities, the man was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and operating a drug house.

The charges pending against the individual are serious with substantial consequences for conviction. Fortunately, that is up to a court of law, who will presumably also hear arguments about the fairness and validity of the search warrant obtained. A Wisconsin attorney may help ensure that all legal rights are fully protected and fight for a just result.

Source: The Wisconsin State Journal, "Madison man faces drug charges after authorities find marijuana, $34,000 in cash," Ed Treleven, Sept. 13, 2011

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