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Recent Drug Bust Could Cause State to Review Possession Laws

A recent drug bust resulted in one individual from Pennsylvania and three from West Virginia facing serious heroin-related drug charges. The investigation began when a state trooper found a 32-year-old Pennsylvania woman passed out alongside a road in Falling Waters, West Virginia. The trooper reportedly investigated her vehicle and found heroin and other drug paraphernalia inside.

When the trooper began to initiate the arrest, the woman offered to show him where the drugs came from. She eventually led police to a mobile camper, where officers conducted a search and arrested three people. Officers seized an unspecified amount of heroin, approximately 60 used needles and a stolen laptop.

Heroin-related drug offenses

This latest bust could cause West Virginia and Pennsylvania to review their drug possession laws. All three of the West Virginians were booked on charges of felony conspiracy to distribute, but only misdemeanor possession charges — as heroin possession is considered a misdemeanor in both states. Authorities in each state say heroin is the number one drug turning up in their investigations these days, and that heroin possession charges typically also involve distribution.

Heroin is considered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to be a Schedule I narcotic. Pennsylvania and West Virginia could take a page out of the commonwealth of Virginia’s book and classify heroin possession as a Class V felony. Heroin possession in Virginia is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, even if the amount possessed was only residue.

If you or someone you know has been arrested on drug charges, speak with trusted Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.

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