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NBA player facing felony drug possession charges

Basketball fans in Ohio may be familiar with Mike Scott, the 27-year-old forward who averaged 7.8 points per game from the bench to help the Atlanta Hawks top the Eastern Conference during the 2014-15 NBA season. Scott was taken into custody on felony drug charges on July 30. Deputies with the Banks County Sheriff's Office say that Scott was charged after a traffic stop on Interstate 85 near Atlanta.

Deputies say that they observed an SUV following another vehicle too closely and ordered it to pull over. According to the deputies, the SUV only pulled over after a pursuit of approximately two miles that reached speeds of nearly 100 mph. Deputies say that they discovered over 35 grams of marijuana and nearly 11 grams of MDMA during a search of the vehicle. Scott was charged with felony drug possession after telling the deputies that the drugs belonged to him.

According to the Banks County Sheriff's Office, Scott was given both verbal and written Miranda warnings before he consented to an interview. The SUV was driven by Scott's 20-year-old brother who is facing charges related to the high-speed pursuit. Both the NBA and the Atlanta Hawks have said that they are aware of the incident. It is believed that Scott was on his way to Virginia to host a youth basketball camp when the incident occurred.

Law enforcement officers must work within limits established by the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure, and a criminal defense attorney may seek to have evidence ruled inadmissible if police are unable to establish reasonable cause for a traffic stop or vehicle search. If a search is ruled unconstitutional, the admissibility of any subsequent statements made to law enforcement officers could also be challenged.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Updated: Police say Mike Scott admitted drugs were his at arrest," Chris Vivlamore, July 31, 2015

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