The police in Columbia County, Florida (about an hour west of Jacksonville, FL) executed a search warrant and allegedly found two of the residents flushing bags of crack cocaine down the toilet, according to an article on News4Jax.com. The article indicated that the two Columbia County suspects flushed more than 80 grams of crack cocaine down the toilet, but the police were able to retrieve it from the septic pipe. Eighty grams of crack cocaine is well over the amount needed for a trafficking in cocaine charge.
As criminal defense lawyers handling cases, including many drug cases, throughout Northeast Florida, we have seen similar cases where people are accused of trying to destroy, or otherwise get rid of, drugs when police come to a residence or hotel room. Many times, when the police search a home, hotel room or other location that is often occupied by multiple people, the police will find drugs somewhere on the premises, but it will not be clear who actually owned or possessed the drugs. The police will often arrest everyone at the premises, or the people closest to the drugs. However, these are often weak constructive possession of drugs cases. If the police and the State cannot prove who actually knew about and had some control over those drugs, the drug charges will not stick.
However, in cases where the police come in and they actually observe a person trying to dispose of the drugs, that is no longer a constructive possession case. If the police can prove that a person actually possessed the drugs and knew what he/she had was illegal drugs, that is an actual possession of drugs case that is often stronger than the constructive possession of drugs cases. If the police come in a home with a search warrant and see someone flushing a large quantity of crack cocaine down the toilet, that is obviously a stronger case than the one where drugs are located somewhere on the premises but not immediately near any particular person.