Proximity to a crime can lead to a criminal charge. In some instances, a person who permits a crime to occur, even without direct involvement in illegal activity, can be charged with a serious offense.
A Milwaukee woman, her son and another man were arrested recently on drug charges. The twist is the 45-year-old mother’s connection to the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services. The accused woman was hired by DNS to evict people from houses where known drug activities take place.
The mother and son were charged with keeping a drug house – party to a crime. Additionally, the son faces a charge for marijuana possession with intent to deliver. The second man, age 28, was charged with two crimes – possession with intent to deliver for cannabis and heroin.
Police acted upon a neighborhood complaint alleging drug sales had been taking place in the woman’s home for nearly a year. Officers obtained a search warrant and raided the home in early September. Investigators stated they recovered drugs, paraphernalia, weapons and ammunition.
Authorities said the residence had a strong marijuana odor, although the DNS employee claimed she was unaware of illegal substances and drug deals in her home. A friend of the accused woman’s son told police, the DNS employee urged him to surrender to authorities so she wouldn’t lose her job.
The woman was not fired. The DNS decided to place the defendant on administrative leave, at least for now. A conviction on the drug house charge could result in a maximum $10,000 fine and a prison term of more than three years.The two male defendants could be imprisoned up to 10 years with fines as high as $25,000 each.
The severity of a drug crime is enhanced when possession charges allege distribution intent. When possible, criminal defense attorneys work toward getting charges dismissed or reduced. Plea bargaining also may be an option.
Source: Fox6now.com, “Her job is to evict people from drug houses, now Regina Sims is charged with keeping one,” A.J. Bayatpou, Sep. 29, 2015