Memphis police came down hard on a group of five people in East Memphis recently. After a drug bust was led by the Organized Crime Unit, police arrested the group on multiple counts of drug charges.

Police claim that they broke into a home after receiving no response from the people inside. Immediately, police say they found one man trying to get away through a window. They allegedly found a woman holding a marijuana cigarette in her hand. The police also claim to have found two crack rocks in another man’s bedroom

The police then chose to search a car out front that had passengers in it. There they say they found a woman with marijuana hidden in her bra, of which later, another man admitted that he asked her to hold it for him. Altogether, the police claim they took over 65 grams of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy and prescription pills. They also say they confiscated almost $1,000 in cash.

This story brings up an important issue in drug crimes: “probable cause.” In order for police to arrest someone, perform a search or seize someone’s property, they must have probable cause. This requirement is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

An officer has probable cause to perform a search when he or she reasonably believes that a crime was committed at the place to be searched or if the officer reasonably believes that evidence of a crime exists at the location to be searched. The search warrant must include both the location of the place that will be searched and items that will be seized.

Most situations are based on the police officer’s version of the events, and the defense will have the opportunity to argue against the elements of the search, particularly if evidence is found that leads to an arrest.

Source: The Commercial Appeal, “East Memphis drug bust, five charged,” Timberly Moore, Oct. 14, 2012