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Marijuana discovered in Texas city official's home

Media outlets have reported that the Wichita Falls deputy city manager submitted his resignation after a search of his residence led to the discovery and seizure of marijuana and evidence of marijuana growing. Law enforcement officers from several agencies took part in the May 28 search, but the man was not taken into custody at the scene and no charges have been filed against him.

The search warrant for the man's home was obtained by drug enforcement investigators from the Wichita County District Attorney's Office following an investigation that began in April when a confidential informant reported that marijuana was being grown in the home. The informant is said to have told investigators that he was reluctant to come forward because the home was owned by a senior government official.

Investigators gathered the evidence they would need to secure a search warrant by conducting a series of trash pulls. The first trash pull took place on April 15 and allegedly led to the discovery of a plastic bag containing green plant matter. Forensic testing allegedly revealed that the bag contained marijuana. Investigators say that they discovered additional evidence of marijuana cultivation during trash pulls conducted during May. The Wichita County District Attorney's Office says that the evidence it collected during the search of the home is sufficient to support drug charges.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise individuals who could become the subjects of narcotics investigations to be very careful about what they throw in the trash. This is because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police do not infringe on rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment when they inspect trash placed on the sidewalk or in areas surrounding a property known as curtilage without a search warrant.

Source: The Times Record News, "Deputy City Manager Jim Dockery resigns after search warrant turns up marijuana at home", Claire Kowalick and Trish Choate, May 31, 2019

Source: FindLaw, "California v. Greenwood", accessed on June 5, 2019

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