A graduate student at Harrisonburg’s James Madison University was arrested on drug possession and drug distribution charges recently after police obtained a search warrant of the man’s home. Although charges have already been filed, the local authorities’ drug task force continues to investigate.

According to reports, a piece of mail from the other side of the country came to the attention of local authorities via the Virginia State Police. How the Virginia State Police came to be aware of the package was not entirely clear.

The local authorities managed to obtain a search warrant for the package and claim that, upon opening it, they discovered it included 10 pounds of marijuana. Marijuana is not legal in Virginia.

The local Drug Task Force was convened, and they eventually focused their investigation on the graduate student’s home. They obtained an additional search warrant and reportedly recovered a handgun and some mushrooms from the man’s home. The police charged the man with felony drug and firearm offenses.

No matter what the circumstances were, this young man is now facing serious legal, as well as personal and professional, consequences on account of this charge. In addition to time in prison, he could face steep fines, the forfeiture of his property and strict probation terms. Additionally, the University may choose to expel him even if he manages to avoid the most serious consequences of his charges. He also could experience serious difficulties getting a job if he is convicted of these offenses.

The man does have certain legal rights during this process, one of the most important being the right to a fair trial at which he will have the opportunity to challenge the state’s case and put forward his side of the story. He will likely want to review his rights and options with an experienced Harrisonburg criminal defense attorney.

Source: The Breeze, “Graduate student arrested after 10 pounds marijuana found,” March 17, 2018.