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Charges of drug possession can have serious consequences and have a lasting effect on a person's personal and professional life. The impact can be even more severe when the drug charge includes possessing with the intent to distribute, especially near a school or park where young children congregate. Two Fort Lee brothers learned this lesson the hard way.

On January 25, a police detective allegedly noticed suspicious behavior on the part of two occupants sitting in a parked vehicle on Wilson Avenue in Fort Lee, New Jersey. As he continued to observe the pair, the driver got out of the car, entered a nearby apartment came out allegedly holding two plastic bags.

After following for a short distance, the detective stopped the car and found that the bags contained roughly two ounces of marijuana. He arrested the 23-year-old driver and released the female passenger without any charges.

Police went back to the apartment. The 35-year-old occupant, who turned out to be the brother of the arrested man, allowed police to search his room, where they allegedly discovered approximately three pounds of marijuana and a large amount of cash. Because the apartment was located within 1,000 feet of a Fort Lee High School and within 500 feet of Gallo Park, the brothers received charges of possession with the intent to distribute as well as charges for intent to distribute near a school and a park.

In this case, even though law enforcement officials did not allege that the brothers were selling drugs to the high school students, they only needed to be selling near the school to receive additional charges. Additionally, the second man should have been aware that he did not have to let police into his apartment without a search warrant.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Fort Lee police arrest 2 in drug bust," John Brennan, Jan. 26, 2013

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