Yeah, that's why this story scares the shit out of me. From an e-mail sent to Radley Balko:
I am a 45 year old mother of 3 boys ages 12, 18 and 22. I reside inn Carroll County, MD. I have been a federal employee for 17 years. My husband has been employed…with a local firm for over 27 years. Although my husband had some very minor law infractions back in the early 1980’s (traffic violations), since that time he has never been arrested for any criminal violation. I myself have never had any type of criminal violation and have had one traffic violation (driving 10 miles over) in over 20 years of driving.
On October 3, 2006 my oldest son was involved in a traffic stop and arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana charge. Just about a year later on September 30, 2007 my son was again stopped and arrested for a misdemeanor marijuana violation. I was present in court on January 4, 2008 when he plead guilty and paid a $350 fine. At about 3:30 a.m.on January 10, 2008 approximately 16 Swat Team Members of the Maryland State Police entered our home with force with M-16s at the ready. Please note that we are the only county in Maryland that does not have a county police department. While the M-16s were drawn they handcuffed four of us (my oldest son has been living with his girlfriend for sometime now) this includes my 12 year old son. After reviewing the search warrant I was horrified to realize these “hut-hut”men came in with M-16s in the middle of the night because my son had been arrested for a misdemeanor marijuana charge. The affidavit filed for the search warrant stated that” it had been the officer’s experience that persons who are arrested with illegal drugs continued to use, abuse and/or distribute illegal drugs”. This was the probable cause. The affidavit also indicated that other than my oldest son, no person living in our home had any prior criminal history.
I would like to provide you with more details but the bottom line is that they did find small amount of marijuana in our downstairs basement and confiscated a shotgun that my husband had since he was 18 years old. The gun has never even been fired. The two of us, my husband and myself, were taken to the local barracks and held for over 8 hours without being read our rights or being granted a phone call.
We have since learned that over 100 of these warrants have been issued by the judges here in Carroll County during the past year. Apparently if your son or daughter is arrested with even a trace of marijuana in Carroll County, they will follow up and issue a warrant based on one officer’s belief that the person will abuse the drug again. We have now heard horror stories of other families just like ours that have also been traumatized in much the same way….
The state’s attorney has contacted our attorney….and indicated they will be dropping all charges against me and they would be willing to drop all charges against my husband if he agreed to an out patient type drug program. Please understand that acting as a father first my husband told the cops that anything they found in our home was his regardless of where it was found. We have decided not to agree to this because we believe this is no longer about us. This is about the next family that is terrorized in this way. This is about an innocent person that could be killed the next time for a misdemeanor pot charge. We go over and over what could have happened. We feel blessed that it didn’t. But we feel a duty to make sure our feelings are known.
I hope you look into what is going on here in Carroll County. I’m beginning to believe that we live in a police state.
Scared yet? I've been scared for a long time.
Love (because that's one thing they can't take from us),