The eleventh section of the Provincial Court of Alicante, with headquarters located in Elche, has sentenced a man to one year and six months in prison for a crime against public health after being surprised by plainclothes Guardia Civil agents while dealing drugs outside his Orihuela home during the Covid lockdown.

According to the account of proven facts, on March 18, 2020, in full confinement due to covid, at around 11:00 p.m., the accused was arrested by three agents of the Torrevieja Guardia Civil at his home.

Previously, uniformed officers had observed from the police vehicle, at a distance of 10 or 15 metres, how the accused had left his home, met with the driver of a vehicle and handed him, from the passenger window, a package later to be confirmed to contain 0.45 grams of cocaine.

After carrying out the drug transfer, the accused returned to his home, where he was arrested by the agents. For his part, the driver was identified and the cocaine wrapper seized.

At the beginning of the oral trial, the defence stated that the chain of custody of the seized drugs had not been respected. However, the Chamber rejects these allegations since it is “a simple material error in weighing, but not in the case of different types of substances, without any impact on the legal classification.”

Another issue raised by the defence was related to how the agents accessed the accused’s home to proceed with his arrest, by jumping over a wall about two metres high. The ruling indicates that “there has been no violation of the right to the inviolability of the home.” “They were forced to jump over said wall in order to arrest the accused for committing ‘in flagrante’ an alleged crime against public health,” the ruling says.