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Man awaiting drug charges after hospital visit for burns

One of the hazards of a person going to a hospital with suspicious injuries and sparse information is that it may bring the authorities into an investigation. Hospital authorities may possibly have a legal duty to report certain suspicious circumstances to the police. Recently, a man went to a North Carolina hospital for burn injuries and got more treatment than he wanted. He's now waiting for drug charges because hospital authorities called the police under circumstances that may or may not have been justified.

When the man refused to give his address to emergency personnel at the hospital, officials of the hospital contacted deputies at the Currituck County Sheriff's Office. They told the authorities that a man with burns refused to give his address. A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said that deputies later located and visited the man's home in Currituck, presumably for suspicion of drug offenses.

At his home, deputies found the precursors to a meth lab along with drug paraphernalia. The spokesperson indicated that an arrest of the man on drug offenses is pending. Apparently, authorities did not identify any other individuals involved in suspect criminal activity.

The details of how the authorities found the man's address haven't been revealed. There is also no identification of the so-called 'precursors' to a meth lab that were found. Presumably, the emphasis on precursors indicates that an actual meth lab was not operating. Once all of the shadows are uncloaked from this somewhat mysterious set of events, it may be that the drug charges are difficult to support. It's unknown what 'precursors' were picked up or whether they include items or substances prohibited by law.

A North Carolina arrest for drug charges is a serious event requiring the police to have sufficient evidence. Here, there were no witnesses or purchases of illegal substances. Even more critically, the entry into the man's home is questionable, at least based on the sparse facts reported. It seems doubtful, based on the reported facts, that there was probable cause to get a search warrant to enter the man's home simply because he had burns and didn't want to reveal his address. However, this is all currently speculative until the authorities actually make an arrest and issue further details.

Source: wavy.com, "Arrest pending in meth lab discovery," Mila Mimica, Mar. 25, 2013

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