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Woman faces drug charges in Pennsylvania

A 37-year-old Bronx woman is facing serious charges following her arrest by state troopers. Pennsylvania authorities arrested the woman -- who now faces drug charges -- after a routine traffic stop on Interstate 81. She was set to appear in court in the town of Kirkwood, following her release from police custody. 

According to the police report, state police saw the woman using a cell phone while driving along Interstate 81. Apparently, the woman initially refused to pull over, prompting police to follow her for some five miles, during which time she observed the legal speed limit. When officers pulled her over in Great Bend, they discovered that she was operating her vehicle without a license. 

A subsequent search of the car revealed a small amount of what they believed to be cocaine, as well as part of what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette. The specifics of the search were not included in the report, but it appears that officers did not have a warrant to search the vehicle. The woman now faces charges including seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance, several driving infractions and unlawful possession of marijuana. If found guilty, she could be fined or face prison time. 

When drug charges are filed in Pennsylvania, it is the burden of the prosecution to prove the charges are warranted. In this case, state police will have to prove they had reasonable cause to search the woman's vehicle, which led to the discovery of the alleged illicit materials. Defense counsel will likely wish to review the arrest record to determine whether the search was lawful and whether the arrest was conducted in accordance with the woman's rights under the Constitution.

Source: pressconnects.com, "Barbara Vazquez arrested by Kirkwood troopers on drug charge", Anthony Borrelli, Sept. 7, 2017

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