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Minor suspicions lead to drug charges for Milwaukee men

Milwaukee residents and readers of this blog may not realize that even if you aren't a high-level drug dealer, you can find yourself in deep trouble with the law. People who engage in relatively minor illegal drug use can find themselves charged with a drug crime that carries harsh penalties.

Two Milwaukee men arrested in separate cases are facing charges after arousing the suspicion of police. In one case, a 23-year-old man was arrested in Menomonee Falls one evening at the beginning of March. A police officer said he spotted the man driving less than 20 mph on a residential neighborhood street. That was apparently enough to arouse the suspicion of the officer, who soon discovered the car's registration was suspended.

After pulling over, the car's driver told the officer that he was driving slowly because he was looking for an address. The officer searched the car, saying the man appeared dazed and that the car smelled of marijuana. The search turned up .13 grams of marijuana and a bottle of vodka with tissue stuffed in the neck, according to a criminal complaint. The man, who allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana earlier that night, was charged with one count of possession of THC, which could result in a six-month prison sentence and $1,000 in fines if he's convicted.

Police also pulled over a car last month in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, for having illegal window tint. The car was registered to a driver with a suspended license, so the officer pulled it over. The woman driving the car allowed police to search it, during which they found a rock of cocaine on the front passenger seat, the criminal complaint said. The 24-year-old man who'd been sitting there said it was his. After police found two more bags of cocaine, a bag of marijuana and an open bottle of brandy, the man was taken into custody and charged with one count of cocaine possession. A conviction could amount to a year in jail and $5,000 in fines.

Even small amounts of drugs can land you in jail for a significant period of time, interrupting your life and creating problems that could affect your career and your overall reputation. Police may not be actively searching for low-level drug offenders, but these cases demonstrate that if they stumble upon illegal activity, they won't hesitate to make an arrest.

Source: Menomonee Falls Patch, "Looking For a House Leads to Drug Charges," Joe Petrie, June 8, 2012

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