Michigan police have finished a three-week investigation of a drug trafficking operation, which apparently operated about 50 miles from Kalamazoo. The investigation began after officers were called to a residence regarding a complaint of people smoking marijuana.
The investigation culminated in a search of the home, during which marijuana was allegedly found. Police also claim to have found evidence of marijuana sales in the home. The suspects may therefore be facing possible possession of marijuana and drug delivery charges.
There are two main types of drug possession laws: Simple possession, in which a person buys marijuana for personal use, and possession with intent to distribute. The latter of the two charges often involves larger amounts of marijuana, such as several pounds or more. This is considered a serious drug charge and as such, carries stiffer penalties.
Authorities must be able to find evidence to prove that the person has been or was intending to sell the drug to pursue the more severe possession charges, however. Evidence may include scales, baggies and large amounts of cash. Sometimes, eyewitness testimony may be used as well.
Drug trafficking was also allegedly an element in this case. This involves selling or transporting illegal drugs, including marijuana. The penalties vary; there are state and federal laws at play. In addition, the type of drug, the amount and where the distribution took place are all factors in how minor or severe the penalties will be. Drug charges involving marijuana possession may have slightly less stringent penalties than those involving other substances.
The charges are still pending in this case as the police continue their investigation. As for now, none of the suspects have been arrested.
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette, "Berrien County police investigating drug trafficking in Benton Township," Aaron Mueller, Oct. 31, 2012