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Gun rights activist facing both weapons and drug charges

A 31-year-old male resident of Virginia known for his public gun rights advocacy activities is now facing state criminal charges for both weapons and drug-related offenses after a raid on his home by federal authorities. The raid and his arrest came after he was identified on a YouTube video. According to U.S. Park Police, the video showed the man loading a shotgun in the downtown area of Washington, D.C., on the recent July 4th holiday, an action the U.S. Park Police claimed was illegal.

The charges include being in possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms and possessing a firearm. The posting of the video evidently provided the impetus for the raid on his residence , which the defendant said he intended as an act of civil disobedience over laws he believes violate individual firearms rights as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Authorities reportedly found the illegal mushrooms and the shotgun during the raid.

The search on the defendant's home was prolonged for approximately five hours. Local Hendon, Virginia, police were present at the time, but asserted they were only holding the perimeter around the residence while the search was being carried out by federal authorities.

The defendant, on his website, reported those entering his home did so with the assistance of a flash bang grenade and a battering ram they used to smash down and door. Once inside, he said, they failed to say that they had a warrant.

Under most circumstances, with some limited exceptions, a search or arrest warrant is required for law enforcement to enter a private home, a right guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S Constitution. In instances where an illegal search is made of a private home without a legal warrant, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to get evidence seized suppressed, and in some cases, the charges dismissed.

Source: USA Today, "Gun activist arrested on drug, weapons charges" Doug Stanglin, Jul. 10, 2013

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