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Police believe girl found with meth may be a trafficking victim

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has reported that a routine traffic stop on the morning of Oct. 29 led to the discovery of more than five pounds of a substance believed to be methamphetamine. The drugs were found in two packages that had been taped to the body of a 15-year-old girl. The 22-year-old California woman behind the wheel of the vehicle faces a raft of charges including drug trafficking and endangering the welfare of a minor. Police think the girl may be a human trafficking victim.

A MSHP trooper initiated the traffic stop on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 in the vicinity of Missouri Route 13 after allegedly observing a Jeep SUV following other vehicles too closely. The deputy says that he became suspicious and searched the vehicle after detecting the odor of marijuana. The female driver of the vehicle and her 15-year-old female passenger were transported to a Higginsville Police Department facility for questioning after marijuana and drug paraphernalia were allegedly discovered in the SUV.

Can you refuse a police search?

You were traveling to see a friend when you saw the familiar glow of flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. You pulled over for the officer, but you were going the speed limit and didn't have any idea why they'd want to stop you.

When the officer reached your door, they stated that they saw you had a light out and wanted to tell you. You were grateful to know and told them you'd have it replaced in town, and they were happy to let you off with a warning.

Missouri drug sweep leads to 22 arrests

A major law enforcement operation in Missouri on Oct. 2 led to the arrest of 22 individuals and the seizure of drugs, weapons, cash and drug packaging materials according to court documents. Two of the individuals taken into custody have been charged with illegally possessing firearms. The other 20 individuals arrested are alleged to have been involved in drug trafficking activities in the Kansas City area. Two of them also face charges of maintaining a property to manufacture and distribute narcotics.

About 200 local state and federal law enforcement officers and agents took part in the operation. Search warrants were executed at several Kansas City residences that led to the discovery and seizure of about 350 grams of heroin and undisclosed quantities of marijuana and cocaine. Approximately $75,000 in U.S. currency and 23 guns were also seized. Evidence of drug trafficking discovered by officers and agents included digital scales, packaging materials and ledger books allegedly containing details of narcotics transactions.

6 people arrested after drug bust in Miller County

Six Missouri residents were arrested on drug charges on Sept. 19, according to a news release issued by the Miller County Sheriff's Office. The arrests took place in Mount Pleasant.

News reports indicate that deputies from the sheriff's office and the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at an area home. During the ensuing search, they allegedly found a large quantity of suspected drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, and marijuana. They also reportedly seized a stolen motorcycle and an illegal handgun.

Marijuana breath tests may be of little use in the real world

Police officers in Missouri and around the country use portable breath-testing devices to find out if motorists are driving under the influence of alcohol, but they currently have no tools that can effectively identify marijuana impairment. Several companies are attempting to solve this problem by developing devices that measure THC levels using a breath sample, but this kind of equipment may not provide much in the way of reliable evidence even if it functions properly.

Establishing that a driver is impaired by marijuana is a challenge because THC does not affect the body in the same way alcohol does. A blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher is enough to intoxicate even a heavy drinker, but regular marijuana smokers develop a tolerance for the drug. This means that high levels of THC in the blood are not enough to establish intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt.

SUV that struck MSP vehicle allegedly contained heroin

A 30-year-old Missouri man with a long history of run-ins with the police found himself on the wrong side of the law again on the evening of Sept. 2 when his Chevrolet SUV struck the rear end of a police car on Interstate 55. The Bloomsdale resident was initially cited for dangerous driving and driving with a revoked driver's license, but drug and drug paraphernalia possession charges were added after 30 heroin capsules and other items were allegedly discovered in his vehicle.

The incident took place at approximately 6:30 p.m. on the northbound lanes of Interstate 55 near Interstate 270 in St. Louis County. A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper suffered minor injuries in the crash and his vehicle sustained damage that initial reports suggest will cost about $15,000 to repair. The trooper was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment. The man, who is said to have refused treatment at the scene, was transported to a police facility in Arnold for processing.

How does constructive possession impact people driving vehicles?

Anyone who has ever gotten in trouble for having something they shouldn't have knows that denial is often the simplest way to avoid responsibility. If your parents walked into the house and demanded to know who ate the last cookie, so long as you and your siblings all insisted it wasn't you, it was possible that no one would get punished.

Some people apply the same strategy toward law enforcement interactions in motor vehicles. Sometimes, due to an individual traffic stop or an enforcement roadblock, multiple people in a vehicle wind up dealing with law enforcement who find something that shouldn't have been in the car. Police may ask to search a vehicle because of a smell or the behavior of the people inside. If they find something illegal, they will likely want to arrest someone.

Missouri men facing gun, drug, explosives and auto theft charges

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has reported that two men were taken into custody on Aug. 7 after allegedly being caught in a stolen car. Initial reports do not reveal the events that led up to the arrests, but they do indicate that the men face a raft of charges including grand theft auto, narcotics and weapons counts. According to an MSHP report, a 33-year-old Villa Ridge man was apprehended at 10:22 p.m., and a 26-year-old Union man was taken into custody at 10:40 p.m.

The men are alleged to have been found in the possession of an unidentified explosive, at least one firearm, approximately 2 grams of a substance believed to be methamphetamine, 3 grams of a substance believed to be heroin and items of drug paraphernalia. A tampering with motor vehicle charge is likely connected to the alleged theft of the vehicle they were traveling in. Both of the men are also accused of resisting arrest. They are being held at the Franklin County Jail according to a media report.

Relying on a witness to identify the suspect of a crime

Many Missouri residents are aware that if a crime occurs, any person who witnesses the crime may be asked at a later time to identify the person who committed the crime from a lineup. While the person who did commit the crime may actually be in the lineup, there are cases where the authorities have identified the wrong person, meaning there could be an innocent suspect included in the lineup.

While the identification of a person in a lineup is just one piece of evidence, it can be common for the witness identification to be the basis of the authorities' case. The problem is that according to a vast array of research, witnesses commonly make errors and regularly choose a person the authorities know to be innocent. As such, it has to be determined if the witness's memory is accurate.

Missouri man facing drug charges after high-speed chase

A 28-year-old Missouri man faces a raft of felony counts including methamphetamine possession and assaulting a law enforcement officer in the first degree after allegedly leading a Livingston County Sheriff's Office deputy on a high-speed chase and then pointing a loaded handgun at him on the afternoon of July 13. The man is being held without bond at the Daviess Dekalb County Regional Jail and could also face federal charges according to media reports.

A LCSO deputy claims that the man fled the scene at speeds of up to 100 mph when he attempted to pull his motorcycle over in western Livingston County at approximately 4:20 p.m. The deputy says that he initiated the traffic stop because he believed that the man was a felony fugitive. The chase became a foot pursuit a short time later when the man lost control of his motorcycle near a church on U.S. Route 36 in Mooresville.

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I don't stop working just because it's after 5 p.m. My clients can always reach me after hours and on weekends. I also visit clients in jail when necessary. I keep my rates affordable because I know, when facing a criminal charge, you can't afford not to have a criminal defense lawyer. Contact me, criminal defense attorney Andrew Christie, today at 816-533-3456 to schedule a free consultation.

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