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Man charged with taking marijuana into courthouse

Police in New Jersey took a 32-year-old man into custody on drug-related charges after he allegedly brought marijuana and other prohibited items into a Fort Lee courthouse on Oct. 2. The man was already facing other drug-related charges and was on his way to a court hearing when police detained him.

The man arrived at the Fort Lee courthouse around 10:20 a.m. A representative from the Port Authority said that the man attempted to carry a backpack through the security checkpoint at the entrance to the building. Security officers screen all bags going through the checkpoint for weapons and other contraband. The police representative said that the security officers found less than 50 grams of marijuana, packages of rolling papers and a cigar wrapper inside the backpack.

Port Authority charged the Connecticut man with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was scheduled to appear in court that day for separate drug-related charges, including a count of possession of marijuana. The Port Authority representative said that the man was also involved in a May 16 incident on the George Washington Bridge, for which he was charged with DUI, possession of marijuana and driving with a suspended license.

People convicted on a drug possession charge may be ordered to serve time in jail and pay fines. Prosecuting attorneys may push for harsher penalties if the accused person has previous convictions or if charges were already pending against them. A defense attorney might try to negotiate with prosecutors for lesser penalties in exchange for a guilty plea and an agreement for the accused person to enter a drug rehabilitation program to reduce the person's likelihood of being charged with drug-related offenses again.

Source: NJ.com, "Drug defendant brings marijuana to Fort Lee court hearing, Port Authority says", Noah Cohen, October 02, 2014

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