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Morning stroll reportedly leads police to New Jersey pot garden

The circumstances behind any two criminal cases are not exactly the same. Though specific charges appear to be the same on paper, the means by which police gathered enough evidence to file charges makes all the difference.

One New Jersey man is facing drug charges after police saw him walk to a park, where he was allegedly going to tend to marijuana plants. Upon following this man, police searched his home with the intention of discovering more evidence. Their findings led law enforcement officials to issue a multitude of drug charges against the man, who also faces bail set at $75,000.

Police claim the man was responsible cultivating the marijuana plants found in the park. Detectives reportedly confiscated 25 marijuana plants there. They also allege they found about 200 grams of marijuana at the man's home, undesignated drug paraphernalia and over a thousand dollars in cash. According to authorities, the marijuana seized was worth $90,000.

It is not clear what prompted police to suspect this individual in the first place, other than reports that indicate they saw the man leave his house to cultivate the marijuana plants. The police officers' motive to follow him may be a crucial aspect of the defense's success as the case moves to trial.

Unfortunately for the man, these drug charges could lead to very hefty penalties. The believed street value of the drugs said to have been seized points to the seriousness with which law enforcement is taking these allegations. That is all the more reason why the accused man is entitled to the presumption of innocence that protects all individuals accused of a crime. However, the very real prospect of a prison sentence, should a conviction ultimately be obtained, dictates that each element of the crimes charged be examined and scrutinized in detail.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "New Jersey man charged with growing pot in park," July 13, 2012

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