Police in South Carolina reported that an investigation into an armed robbery in Laurens County on the morning of June 5 led to the discovery of a methamphetamine production facility and the arrest of five people. The events unfolded at a residence on North Old Laurens Road in the town of Gray Court. The individuals taken into custody face charges including methamphetamine trafficking, weapons possession, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute and the unlawful disposal of methamphetamine waste.

Marijuana odor leads to a search warrant

According to a Laurens County Sheriff’s Department report, deputies were dispatched to the residence at approximately 7:15 a.m. While investigating reports of an armed robbery, deputies allegedly noticed the distinctive odor of marijuana. Based on the odor, deputies obtained a search warrant for the premises. During the ensuing search, deputies claim to have found about 54 grams of methamphetamine, approximately 26 grams of marijuana, 140 pills thought to be fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, Xanax and ecstasy, and a firearm and ammunition.

Deputies claim home was being used to produce methamphetamine

Deputies also claim to have discovered evidence indicating that the home was being used to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine. This evidence is said to include equipment and materials commonly used to make the drug and a large quantity of Sudafed pills. Sudafed is a decongestant that contains pseudoephedrine, which is often used to manufacture methamphetamine. Deputies also say that they found scales and other items often used to weigh and package illegal drugs. The individuals taken into custody in connection with the search were a 35-year-old Laurens man, a 28-year-old Laurens man, a 35-year-old Gray Court woman, a 29-year-old Waterloo man and a 26-year-old Greenwood man.

Challenging the validity of search warrants

The rules dealing with search and seizure are strict, and police are only permitted to conduct searches when they have probable cause to believe that evidence of criminal activity will be discovered. If you face drug charges because police found controlled substances in your residence or vehicle while executing a search warrant, an experienced criminal defense attorney may study the warrant and the warrant application to ensure that the issuing judge acted properly and his or her instructions were followed by the officers involved. When rights protected by the Fourth Amendment appear to have been violated, attorneys may seek to have the evidence discovered excluded and criminal charges dismissed.