Law enforcement officers with the Trenton Police Department took a 19-year-old man into custody for alleged weapons and drugs offenses on Dec. 19. Reportedly, officers from the Violent Crimes Unit were in the area to investigate tips concerning open-air drug sales.
While investigating, officers reportedly received a tip about guns in a house on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Officers then went to the home, reportedly to follow up on the tip they had received. Police indicate they knocked on the door, and the 19-year-old man answered it while allegedly holding a blunt. According to police, they could smell the strong odor of marijuana and asked the man to step outside.
Instead of stepping outside, the man allegedly turned to run. Officers claimed the man was holding up his pants as he did so. He was apprehended, and officers then found that the man was in possession of a handgun. He was charged with several offenses, including marijuana possession, possession of a defaced firearm, resisting arrest, possession of hollow-point ammunition and unlawful possession of a weapon.
In order to enter a house, police must generally have a search warrant unless there is an exigent circumstance requiring their entry. When a person turns and runs, officers may claim they then were dealing with a fleeing suspect. In such an event, attempting to escape could lead to an exception to the search warrant requirement. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding a case, a criminal defense attorney representing a defendant could file a motion to suppress the evidence based on an unconstitutional search and entry into the individual’s home.
Source: NJ.com, “Trenton police arrest man on drug, weapon charges after receiving tip“, Cristina Rojas, December 24, 2014