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Parolee accused of drug trafficking, possession

Officers with the Westport Police Department and a parole officer arrested a Westport man for drugs on Jan. 28. The arrest followed a discovery of the drugs by the parole officer, who then reportedly contacted the police.

The 55-year-old Westport man was apparently on parole for previous drug offenses. His parole officer searched the man's home and allegedly discovered cocaine, narcotic pills and $11,300 in cash. When law enforcement officers responded, they found cocaine, oxycodone, morphine, alprazolam, suboxone, suboxone strips and marijuana.

The cocaine and the money were apparently stored inside of a toolbox. The man was taken into custody and is facing multiple charges, including trafficking of more than 36 grams of cocaine, which carries a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years. He is also charged with trafficking morphine, distribution of marijuana and possession of the other substances found in the home. It is unclear whether the man is also facing penalties for a violation of parole.

Parolees are subject to house searches by their parole officers as a part of their parole. Parole officers do not have to obtain a search warrant in order to conduct such searches, which may also be unannounced. Drug charges can result in significant terms of incarceration, especially when the amounts appear to qualify as drug trafficking. In some cases, defense attorneys may be able to check the weight of drugs in order to challenge the charge filed. Police will sometimes count the weight of packaging when weighing substances. By having drugs re-weighed without packaging, it is possible to have the charge reduced. When a person is also on parole at the time, criminal defense attorneys may be able to argue for any new sentence to run concurrently with the one for which the person's parole is revoked.

Source: SouthCoastToday, "Westport parolee arrested on drug charges," Curt Brown, Jan. 29, 2015

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