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Police are looking to bring more charges against a Union City, California man after his arrest on New Year's Day. Authorities claim the 25-year-old had stolen two packages from in front of a house in Palo Alto January 1. Palo Alto Police received a call from a resident who claims to have seen someone take packages from a neighbor's doorstep. Law enforcement responded to the area and arrested a Union City man who was in the area.

Police claim that they found two packages in the Union City man's truck. Authorities also seized a baton, a fake gun and drugs after a search of the man's truck. Law enforcement says that a personal check was in the man's Chevrolet pickup truck that authorities believe was stolen from a mailbox in late December. Authorities apparently also suspect the man of drug crimes, after seizing bags and a scale from the truck during the search.

Law enforcement apparently raided a storage unit in Campbell, California as a part of the investigation. Police assert that the Union City man rented the storage unit, where officers reportedly found two more packages that law enforcement believes may have been taken from homes in Palo Alto. Police continue to look for evidence to tie the man to other thefts in Palo Alto. He was booked into jail on several theft-related charges, including possession of stolen property.

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Police in San Jose called in the bomb squad to deal with an item found in a van during an investigation into an alleged driving under the influence offense. Officers with the city's MERGE Unit, which the Mercury News says is the equivalent to a SWAT Team, decided to pull over a car for a DUI investigation. It is not clear what led to the police suspicion that the driver may have been under the influence.

Police also say that they found evidence of some kind of drug crime and evidence to support their suspicion of a DUI offense. Officers searched the Windstar van and found what they believed to be a pipe bomb.

The bomb squad reportedly was called to the area near First Street and Matrix Drive in San Jose, California. Authorities closed streets in the area, but the neighborhood was not evacuated. Police say that the bomb unit exploded the device in a controlled explosion. No injuries or damage has been reported related to the police detonation. Neighbors near to the location claim that the blast could be felt and heard.

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The Humboldt County Drug Task force says that a 32-year-old Fieldbrook, California man has been arrested on several marijuana-related drug charges. Officials say that agents intercepted $5,000 in cash that purportedly was being mailed to a Fieldbrook residence. Media accounts do not indicate how the mail was intercepted or what led authorities to look into the piece of mail.

Agents from the drug task force apparently went to the Fieldbrook residence that reportedly was listed on the mailed parcel. Authorities say that the agents intended to inquire about the sum of cash. The drug task force issued a statement that says agents contacted a 32-year-old man at the Fieldbrook home.

While law enforcement was questioning the man at the residence, agents claim that they could smell marijuana emanating from inside. The man at the home reportedly was detained and the site was locked down until law enforcement could obtain a search warrant, according to the Times-Standard.

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Acting on a tip, police say that they launched an investigation into potential marijuana grow houses in a Southern California neighborhood. Tuesday, detectives served search warrants at two homes, which are located just over two miles from each other. Law enforcement claims that the 7:00 a.m. search revealed $5 million worth of marijuana plants growing inside the Hacienda Heights, California, homes.

In addition to roughly 1,400 total marijuana plants in various stages of growth, law enforcement claims that the each of the homes contained elaborate marijuana growing systems. Authorities served a separate search warrant at the residence of a San Gabriel, California, man who authorities accuse of running the marijuana grow houses.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sergeant has summarily announced that the drug crime investigation indicated that the San Gabriel man "was the person responsible for operating and financing the marijuana grow houses."

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Police in Southern California claim that an errant text message led to the arrests of two men who are suspected of California drug crimes. A narcotics suppression officer says that he received a text message from someone who allegedly was seeking to sell drugs. Although it is unclear what cellphone the text message was sent to, the cop says he played along and set up a meeting for a drug deal.

The officer claims that he asked to buy about two grams of methamphetamine from the unknown person sending the errant text message. He reportedly set up a location and time for the meeting. The officer then contacted the drug unit at the Sheriff's department about the alleged drug sting. Deputies went to the location and found a man, who they say had roughly two grams of meth in his possession.

While at the alleged drug deal location, deputies say a second man arrived. Law enforcement suspects the second man as the drug supplier. They reportedly seized roughly 7 grams of meth from the second man. Detectives claim a review of the second man's cellphone contents had information that corroborated the details of the drug deal that was set up by the police officer.

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Police apparently approached two people early Saturday morning at an undisclosed business in Napa. Law enforcement believed the two were under the influence of drugs and placed the two people under arrest, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald.

Somehow, Napa police learned that one of the arrestees has an 8-year-old child, and law enforcement says that they became concerned about the child's whereabouts. An investigation into the child's whereabouts may eventually lead to serious charges for alleged drug crimes.

Napa Police claim that they received "misleading and conflicting information" about where the 8-year-old might be located. Authorities descended on the mother's home after the 2:00 a.m. arrest Sunday and claim to have entered the woman's apartment, possibly without a warrant based upon information reported in the media, to search for the child. Authorities claim that they found the child inside the home.

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Santa Cruz Police say that three men were arrested early Monday morning after some sort of encounter with law enforcement. Police claim to have spotted a car around 1:20 a.m. Monday near South Branciforte and Broadway, but an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel does not indicate why spotting the vehicle drew the attention of police.

Apparently, an officer claims that he smelled marijuana and saw a pipe and decided to search the vehicle.

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The California Highway Patrol says that officers discovered more than eight pounds of methamphetamine in a car that had been pulled over for a routine traffic stop last week. A news report in the Red Bluff Daily News does not indicate what police claim was the original basis for the traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of drug crimes after the encounter.

CHP officers say that the stop occurred around 9:00 last Wednesday along Interstate 5. A 38-year-old Washington man driving a Chevrolet Trailblazer did something that officers apparently characterize as criminal activity during the traffic stop. The Daily News report does not specify what that activity allegedly involved.

Authorities called in a drug sniffing dog to check out the vehicle, according to the CHP. Law enforcement claims that the dog behaved as if a controlled substance was inside the vehicle. Officers claim that they seized 8.1 pounds of methamphetamine during a search of the Trailblazer, according to a Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement Task Force report. Agents from the task force apparently were called in to assist the CHP in the investigation.

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Often in cases where a person is accused of a crime, new stories are written with one side. A police report is often the only public information available to a reporter, so they publish stories that rely heavily on a police report and have little or no commentary from the person accused.

When a woman was arrested three times in five days last week in Santa Cruz, she wasn't afforded to ability to tell her side of the story about drug charges she is facing or respond to allegations by police. According to one news article, the woman was arrested for intent to commit illegal drug activity early in the week. She was later released. It isn't clear what kind of activity the police say the woman may have committed, and the story did not include her response to the allegations.

The woman was later arrested for trespassing before being released again. The she was arrested for allegedly resisting arrest or obstructing an officer. The police were at the residence where she was arrested to execute a probation search. They said they didn't find the person they were looking for and arrested the woman for refusing to exit the house or apartment.

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With today's technology, constitutional issues can involve complex arguments in criminal cases. Last summer, this blog reported that the United states Supreme Court had agreed to review whether law enforcement's use of a global positioning system device without a warrant during a drug crime investigation was done in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Monday, the high court ruled unanimously that the Constitution requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant.

Although all nine justices ruled that the Constitution requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant, some questions may arise in the future from the Supreme Court ruling.

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Typically, allegations involving drugs in news stories revolve around drug crimes. Drug possession charges and possession with intent to sell can bring serious consequences if a person is convicted of a California drug crime.

This blog recently discussed the unusual charges brought against a Northern California mother involving "implied malice" to support a second-degree murder charge against her, which involved allegations that her breast milk contained sufficient methamphetamine to cause her son's death. This blog has also previously recounted stories in DUI cases where prosecutors seek murder charges based upon implied malice. Those cases are typically referred to in California as "Watson murders" based upon prior California case-law.

Now prosecutors on the Central Coast are seeking a murder charge against a Paradise man based upon the implied malice theory. The case involves allegations that the defendant supplied methadone to an allegedly inebriated woman who later died. The Supreme Court rule some time ago that providing drugs to someone is not inherently dangerous enough to support a murder charge under the legal theory known as the "felony murder" rule.

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What began as a traffic stop for an alleged speeding violation turned much more serious recently for a Garberville man. The California Highway Patrol claims the 41-year-old Garberville man was speeding on U.S. Highway 101 near Miranda last week. During the traffic stop, the man apparently was arrested on suspicion of DUI. A news report on the incident in The Times-Standard does not address the alleged evidence that the CHP is relying upon to support their suspicion that the driver was under the influence.

CHP officers say they conducted an inventory search of the 2007 Dodge Ram that they say the Garberville man was driving last Tuesday. The officers apparently decided to have the vehicle towed after the DUI arrest. CHP officers say they conducted an inventory search of the Dodge prior to towing. That search reportedly has led to serious California drug charges against the driver of the vehicle. The CHP says that a 23-year-old passenger in the Dodge was released at the scene of the original traffic stop.

The CHP claims they found roughly 30 pounds of processed marijuana hidden from view somewhere in the vehicle during the inventory search. The CHP estimates the street value of the pot to be more than $90,000.

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A California man allegedly tried to ship a package from California to Illinois through Federal Express in July 2010. A FedEx employee claims the package smelled of marijuana and called police to report the parcel. The man accused of trying to send the package was ultimately charged with serious California drug crimes, including possession of marijuana for sale and sale and transportation of marijuana, according to court records.

Police claim that when they were called to FedEx, the responding officer could smell marijuana and seized the parcel as evidence. The officer brought the package back to the police station and the narcotics unit apparently declined to investigate the matter. The officer and his supervisor decided to open the package without first seeking a judicially sanctioned warrant. They claim the package contained nearly a pound of marijuana.

The man accused of the drug crime sought to have the evidence thrown out of court. The Superior Court judge ruled against the defendant, reasoning that both the seizure and the warrantless search of the package were justified. Monday a California Appellate court overturned that ruling.

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A 35-year-old man that police once compared to the fictional character Jason Bourne pled guilty Friday to multiple felonies in a plea deal that will allow the man to avoid prison time. The accused entered guilty pleas to two counts of felony drug charges alleging possession with intent to sell, and one count each of possession of concentrated cannabis, forgery and possession for sale of a controlled substance while armed. The judge imposed a suspended 7-year prison term and released the man on probation.

The case stems from a tip police claim a neighbor called in, reporting a suspicious smell emanating from the man's penthouse apartment. Police and firefighters reportedly responded to the location, but reportedly did not detect any suspicious smells.

Nonetheless, police requested to enter the apartment and the man refused the request. Police claim they remained concerned about potential danger inside the apartment based upon the neighbor's phoned-in tip. While outside the door, one officer says the apartment grew quiet, further raising police concerns. Law enforcement says the broke in the door, even though they apparently did not have a warrant to conduct a search.

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Three people were arrested earlier this month after a multi-agency task force conducted raids at four San Fernando Valley clinics. Police claim the clinics conducted Medicaid fraud and acted as so-called "prescription mills." Authorities claim the clinics were issuing fake prescriptions for the pain killer OxyContin.

In addition to the allegations of the fraudulent prescriptions, authorities claim the clinics were involved in drug crimes related to sales and an alleged drug trafficking operation through the four clinics.

The raids at clinics were conducted and involved a task force of local, state and federal agencies. The raids followed an investigation where authorities say undercover officers purchased prescription drugs, such as OxyContin, by presenting fake IDs at the clinics.

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The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is accusing a Cal State San Bernardino professor of running a drug operation. Law enforcement reportedly conducted a raid on the professor's home and arrested nine people on suspicion of committing California drug crimes. Authorities say the accused professor was not apprehended in the raid.

A report in the Los Angeles Times does not indicate what information led law enforcement to the professor's residence. Law enforcement claims they seized more than a pound of methamphetamine, as well as guns, body armor and biker gear at the professor's home during the recent raid. Police claim the professor led not only the methamphetamine operation, but also led a local chapter of a motorcycle gang.

San Bernardino deputies reportedly arrested the nine people after the raid, claiming they are all involved in the drug operation as mid-level and street-level drug dealers. Authorities claim the professor was the leader of a local chapter of the Devils Diciples Outlaw motorcycle gang.

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The Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of an East Coast nightclub owner. The man was accused of trafficking cocaine. Law enforcement agents covertly attached a GPS tracking device to the man's Jeep without first obtaining a search warrant. Law enforcement eventually seized nearly 100 kilograms of cocaine through information learned from the GPS device. A federal appeals court reversed the man's conviction, saying the extended use of the GPS tracking device during the investigation was a "search" deserving some protection under the Fourth Amendment.

A separate case, here on the West Coast, turned the other way on appeal. Police in Oregon entered a man's property and attached a GPS device to the man's vehicle. Law enforcement reportedly tracked the man to a remote property through the GPS unit and discovered a marijuana cultivation site.

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled the use of the GPS device was not a search and upheld the marijuana cultivation conviction. The U.S. Supreme Court did not take any action regarding the West Coast case.

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In 2009, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a crime lab report was sufficiently similar to testimony. The case involved drug charges. The lab report stated the results of tests showed that a substance was cocaine. The Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors could not introduce the lab report as evidence in the criminal trial without a live witness that was competent to testify to the truth of the statements made in the report under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution.

Thursday the Supreme Court ruled that the live witness cannot be anyone but the original lab analysts who conducted the laboratory test. Thursday's ruling involved a DUI case where prosecutors introduced a lab report showing the results of a blood test drawn after a DUI arrest. Prosecutors had a live witness testify as to the statements made in the lab report, but the live witness had not conducted the original analysis.

The prosecutor called a supervisor from the crime lab to testify regarding the results shown on the lab report. The supervisor had not personally conducted the laboratory tests. A separate lab technician had conducted the DUI blood test sample analysis and signed the lab report. The prosecutor said the original analyst was on unpaid leave, without offering any further information.

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The two women pled not guilty to cultivation of marijuana, maintaining a house for the sale of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and theft of electricity. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 13. The women are being held on $100,000 bail.

Neighbors reportedly believed the home where the two women live was being burglarized. A neighbor called police to report the suspected burglary. Police arrived and say they could see the marijuana plants through the broken front door. Police say that nobody appeared to be home at the time they arrived.

Police obtained a search warrant. In executing the warrant, law enforcement claims they seized 800 marijuana plants and $3,000 in cash at the home. Police also claim to have found an electrical bypass in the home that they say allowed the women to tap into a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power line.

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State and federal law enforcement agents swarmed neighborhoods on Los Angeles yesterday arresting as many as 80 people. Law enforcement says the operation was the culmination of more than two years of investigations. Sixty six Californians were arrested on suspicion of California weapons and drug charges. Federal authorities took an additional 14 Californians into custody, reportedly under federal indictments.

Law enforcement says the previous investigation included the use of undercover agents who allegedly purchased as many as 90 firearms. Undercover agents reportedly also bought drugs during the investigation. Police say agents bought roughly 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, 2 kilograms of crack, 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, 2 kilograms of heroin and 26 pounds of marijuana during the investigation.

Police allege that the focus of the investigation was on alleged California gang members and their associates. Law enforcement says they were particularly focusing on Rancho San Pedro, a gang that currently has 600 members and 400 associates.

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