Traffic Stop In La Paz County Leads to Major Drug Bust
La Paz County Sheriff's office initiated a traffic stop on August 20 that led to a seizure of 27.5 pounds of meth, 10 pounds of Fentanyl and 4 pounds of Xanax. It's unclear why the driver was stopped, but after he gave conflicting statements to the deputies about where he was going, they searched the car and found the drugs hidden in makeshift batteries.
As one of the leading criminal defense law firms in Arizona, we represent several clients every year for drug trafficking. In practicing law for as many years as I have, I am always amazed how the police happen to get "lucky" when they pull over a vehicle and find large quantities of drugs. Call me a skeptic, but I never think it's coincidental. We commonly see our clients get pulled over for driving too fast, driving too slow or having windows that are too tinted. It always seems like there is some questionable reason for the stop. Very rarely do we represent someone for drug trafficking who was clocked speeding. Most of our clients are also in rental cars. I believe the police already have intel on the car or driver, have been tracking them and are looking for any reason to pull them over to search the vehicle.
Once the police stop someone and the driver or passenger give conflicting information, appear nervous, or are acting non-sensical, the police typically either ask to search the car or call for a K-9 to conduct a sniff of the vehicle.
Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3407, the man in this article could be facing up to 15 years in prison. If he has prior felony convictions in any state, he could be facing decades in prison.
The absolute best defense for challenging a drug trafficking case is to attack the stop and the search. If we discover the stop was performed without reasonable suspicion or the search was done without probable cause, then we can file a motion to keep all the drugs out of evidence. If there was a drug recognition dog involved, and our client waited beyond a reasonable amount of time for the dog to arrive, we can argue that the police officers should have received a warrant to search the vehicle. As you can see, there are many Constitutional loopholes involved with drug cases. This is why you need to hire a lawyer who will carefully take the time to explore all angles of the case.