Michigan police report that they have taken two men into custody after finding an alleged methamphetamine lab in a residence in Centreville. A search warrant was executed at a residence on West Main Street in the downtown area. The men are facing charges of possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a drug house and operating a methamphetamine lab.
Authorities initially entered the home on a search warrant after receiving a tip about a possible marijuana growth operation. Officers from the St. Joseph County Area Narcotics unit carried out the raid. Police officers say that they found the methamphetamine lab instead of marijuana, for which reason the men are now facing drug charges.
The home is generally afforded a great deal of constitutional protection under the Fourth Amendment. In order to search a home, police officers must typically have the homeowner’s consent, a search warrant or probable cause. Moreover, if the doctrine of probable cause is utilized to justify police entry into the home, the actions of the officers in question may be subject to judicial review after the fact to ascertain whether their conduct was in fact justified. Officers executing a search warrant on a residence are necessarily bound by the parameters stipulated by that warrant.
In a case such as this, an attorney acting on the defendants’ behalf may wish to review the warrant that authorized the search. If officers are found to have acted outside the bounds of the warrant, the case may need to be dismissed on procedural grounds. In addition, it may be possible to contest and undermine the prosecution’s evidence against a defendant. Prosecutors may be willing to negotiate a reduction of charges if their evidence is deemed insufficient in some way.
Source: MLive, “Meth lab uncovered in downtown Centreville, two arrested”, Rob Wetterholt Jr., July 08, 2014