Neighbors can often be law enforcement’s best informers. They know the usual habits of residents and can tell when someone deviates from the neighborhood’s normal pattern of activity. Repeated complaints from a group of citizens in Coatesville recently led to the arrest of a suspected seller of cocaine and related crimes.
The alleged crimes
According to police in Coatesville, neighbors lodged a number of complaints about a man they believed was selling cocaine. They were also concerned about the crime that is often associated with drug traffickers. These complaints led police to use an informant to negotiate various drug sales with the suspect. Between August 10 and August 14, 2020, the suspect and another known co-conspirator made several sales of cocaine to the informant.
A search warrant for the suspect’s property was executed on August 14. Law enforcement officers seized large quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and various prescription pills. Police also seized drug paraphernalia used to manufacture and sell controlled substances. A second search warrant was also issued on August 14 for a different address in Coatesville. Police found and seized additional quantities of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Police also seized two handguns and cash. Altogether, police seized $54,000 in cash and obtained an additional $8,875 from the suspect’s bank account. After his arrest, the suspect was charged with multiple counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, dealing in unlawful activities, being a person prohibited from possessing firearms and receiving stolen property.
The long view
The defendant in this case faces very serious criminal charges, and the evidence appears to be very convincing. Nevertheless, the defendant is entitled to be presumed innocent of all charges unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The presumption of innocence can be comforting, but the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney may offer a strong guard against conviction. A capable defense attorney can provide a useful evaluation of the prosecution’s evidence, suggest potential legal defenses and, where appropriate, attempt to negotiate a helpful plea agreement.