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2 men charged with distribution of meth

Police say that two South Carolina men were detained on Aug. 27 after a two-month probe. The Marion County Combined Unit says the two men were involved in a mobile methamphetamine lab.

Officials say that a 60-year-old Darlington man was traveling on Highway 76 at the time of a car accident. He had several items that people use to manufacture meth in his possession. When he was detained, police charged with distributing meth, which is the second time he has been charged with such an offense.

A 56-year-old Marion man faces drug charges of conspiracy to distribute and of distributing meth. Both men were booked into the Marion County Detention Center, and bond was set.

In South Carolina, people who are charged with distributing or conspiring to distribute meth, which is a Schedule II substance, are accused of committing a felony offense. If they are convicted of that charge, they could be imprisoned for up to five years, fined up to $5,000 or both. When the defendants are convicted of the charge for a second time, they may be imprisoned for up to 10 years, fined up to $10,000 or both.

Lawyers for defendants who face drug charges, however, might be able to get the charges dismissed. If the defendants' rights were violated at the time that police gathered evidence against them, their lawyers could argue for the evidence to be ruled inadmissible. Without the prosecution being able to use the evidence against the defendants, the charges may be dropped.

Sometimes the only approach that lawyers can take is to negotiate plea bargains to get the severity of the penalties reduced. In this type of scenario, the defendants might plead guilty to the charges or lesser charges, while the prosecution agrees to seek only the minimum sentence or alternative sentencing, such as drug rehabilitation or public service.

Source: South Carolina Legislature, "Title 44. Chapter 53. Article 3. Narcotics and Controlled Substances"

Source: WMBF, "2 men arrested following mobile meth lab bust in Marion County", Brooke Holden, August 28, 2014

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