What Evidence is Used in Loudoun County Drug Cases?
Drug offenses are typically investigated from a “bottom up” approach, meaning that if law enforcement sees a pattern of drug users being arrested, then they will try to use the drug users to gain more information about the drug networks. Then, they work their way up the ladder to get to the drug distributor.
This may involve arrests at lower levels and intermediate levels. It also may include task forces using sophisticated investigatory techniques, search warrants, subpoenas, and other law enforcement ways to try and find out where exactly the drugs are coming from.
Evidence Used in Court
When prosecutors attempt to prove their case, they use the officers who were on the scene at the time of the arrest. In many cases, the accused are subjected to prolonged investigation prior to the arrest. When this occurs, the prosecutors will be using detectives that know a lot about the drug trade, drug culture, and drug distribution. They will attempt to put the pieces together for a circumstantial case or an actual case of possession with an intent to distribute or distribution.
This is often difficult and very case specific but the Commonwealth knows that their burden is high. They are going to make sure that they follow many steps to try to preserve and accumulate as much evidence a possible before an arrest or an indictment is made.
For a case involving possession with intent to distribute this may involve getting statements from key witnesses, including people that have purchased or attempted to purchase drugs from the accused as well as pictures, photographs, and digital information. This may include emails or cell phone data showing characteristics of distribution. Some of the physical evidence that is often presented in these cases is money of substantial quantities and in multiples consistent with drug sales, drug paraphernalia, itemized baggies, scales, tools to cut or make different mixtures, and vials or glassines used for individualized portions or servings of the drug. All these are important pieces of circumstantial evidence for possession with intent to distribute or distribution cases.