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Instructor accused of mailing drugs to Newport News inmates

Some Newport News defendants are not clear about the charges against them or the rights they have after being accused of a crime. Trying to do battle against something you don't understand is like fighting in the dark – the only punches you get are lucky ones. An attorney explains the law, the legal process and the possible consequences while devising a strategy to defend your rights.

A Hampton University history instructor was suspended from his job after the school learned he was facing drug charges. Deputies with the Newport News Sheriff's Office claim the instructor attempted to distribute drugs through the mail. The man's charged with sending marijuana, heroin and drug paraphernalia to three inmates in the city jail.

Authorities said the illegal items were uncovered during a routine inmate mail screening over two days in early April. Although the inmates never received the mail addressed to them, each was charged with attempt to possess a controlled substance and conspiracy. The university instructor faces charges of drug distribution, conspiracy and delivering drugs to inmates.

Deputies' reports said that the mail for two inmates received on April 2 contained marijuana, rolling papers and tobacco. The following day, mail from the same source was intercepted that included heroin, rolling papers and tobacco. The inmates had been booked into the city jail for unrelated reasons.

Officers used warrants to search the instructor's workplace, vehicle and home. Deputies didn't say what, if anything, they seized in the raids, although authorities indicated additional charges may be filed. Reports did not state how or whether the inmates knew one another or mention the relationship the mail sender had with the alleged intended drug recipients.

Criminal defense attorneys examine every aspect of defendants' cases to ensure arrests, searches and evidence collection are conducted properly. A misstep by a police officer may be enough to have evidence stricken from trial and charges dropped or reduced.

Source: Daily Press, "Newport News: Hampton University instructor, three others, charged in attempt to send drugs to inmates" Andrea Castillo, Apr. 10, 2014

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