The Ocean Township Police Department responded to a Resident’s home after receiving a tip involving marijuana cultivation. The police searched the residence and discovered that the bedroom had been converted to a hydroponic “grow room. Sophisticated growing equipment was found, including PVC piping, heat lamps, water pumps, filters and timers. The alleged was charged with the following; manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public building, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
I have several questions regarding this arrest. First, did the police obtain a search warrant prior to entering the home? If so, was it a proper search warrant? Who was the informant for the police? Was there a Confidential Informant utilized in the investigation?
Often times the police work with a confidential informant, otherwise known as a “CI” by criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors. A CI will work with the police in making a “buy” off of an alleged seller. The CI will obtain money from the police or the Drug Task Force, or Detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office who are working on the investigation in exchange for being observed making a buy. After the alleged sale is made, the CI meets with the police, turns over the drugs and makes a statement about the transaction. The Confidential Informant may also get leniency for their own pending matter before their court as compensation.