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Police must prove drug charges against junior high teacher

Curious police procedures in Louisiana and other states are sometimes successful, but on occasion they may allow the accused a chance to interdict a viable defense. The procedures used by the police in arresting a 43-year-old female teacher recently for drug charges, including distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, may be suspect. Only time will tell whether the police made any significant mistakes.

The West Monroe Police Department made the arrest by pulling the woman over while she was allegedly traveling to a drug transaction at a motel in Calhoun. According to published reports, the authorities say that "someone" told them that 3 to 4 ounces of meth could be purchased from the accused. That informant is alleged to have arranged the transaction on behalf of police.

The police pulled over the suspect in her car while she was allegedly traveling to the meeting place. It remains a question at this time why police did not wait for the transaction itself prior to making an arrest. The suspect is reportedly an eighth-grade math teacher in the Lincoln Parish School system. She is still employed due to a continuing investigation by the West Monroe Police Department, according to the school  system superintendent.

The school administrator said that appropriate action would be taken when they receive the police results. Police allege that after pulling her over, they searched her and/or the vehicle and seized nearly 86 grams of meth along with prescription pills. In filing drug charges against the suspect for distribution of the drug, there may arguably be insufficient evidence. The reported facts indicate that no sales transaction actually occurred.

It is unknown whether the stop of the vehicle was authorized by a search or arrest warrant. Depending on the details surrounding the identity and history of the alleged informant, it is possible that probable cause did not yet exist to pull over the suspect and conduct a full search. Federal and Louisiana constitutional principles regarding warrants, searches, seizures, probable cause and privacy guarantees must be evaluated and applied where applicable by defense counsel in this type of criminal arrest.

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