On Tuesday evening, U.S. Park Police barged into a Virginia man's home using a battering ram and a flash-bang grenade. They tore through the home looking for one thing: a gun. After they found multiple guns and drugs, police arrested the man and threw him in jail.
The dramatic incident unfolded after the man posted a video on YouTube. In the video, shot on the Fourth of July, he can be seen loading live ammunition into a shotgun at Washington, D.C.'s Freedom Plaza. The man, a gun rights activist, apparently filmed the video to show that people who possess guns are not always dangerous. Carrying a gun in D.C. is illegal, however.
After the video was posted, police got wind of it and raided the man's home. They found what they believe is the gun that was used in the video along with other guns and some hallucinogenic mushrooms. The man was arrested shortly after the search, and so far has refused to leave his cell. A judge was planning to arraign him in his cell today for two felony charges of possession of a Schedule I or II drug while in possession of a firearm and possession of a Schedule I or II drug.
Despite the serious charges this man is facing, his friends are holding out hope. One of them, an attorney, believes that the police search was not properly conducted.
When criminal charges stem from a search, it is important to understand all of the details surrounding that search when building a criminal defense strategy. Did police have a search warrant? Was there probable cause to conduct a search? Was a search warrant obtained lawfully? The answers to these questions can be essential to finding holes in the prosecution's case.
Source: NBC Washington, "Gun Rights Activist Adam Kokesh Arrested in Va.," July 10, 2013