Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Feds slap 57 with charges stemming from alleged drug smuggling

As the war on drugs rages on, many find themselves imprisoned for minor drug possession and drug distribution. Yet, every now and then, California police, the FBI, or the DEA nab big targets and claim they have brought down a drug ring. When this happens, many are hammered with drug charges, often unjustly. Several may be making this claim after a major drug investigation concluded in Southern California.

Recently, Federal prosecutors levied drug charges against 57 people they believe were part of a massive drug distribution network stretching from Mexico to Los Angeles. According to authorities, the accused individuals used PVC pipes stuffed inside tractor trailer axels to smuggle coke, meth and heroin into the United States. It is alleged authorities seized 2,400 pounds of methamphetamine, 30 kilograms of cocaine and 36 kilos of white and brown heroin during the investigation, which began in 2011. Charges range from conspiracy, distribution, possession with intent to traffic drugs, maintaining drug-involved premises, and possession to distribute controlled substances.

The federal drug charges handed out to these individuals carry stiff consequences if a conviction is obtained. Federal trafficking penalties for heroin in the amount of one kilogram alone carry a minimum 10 year prison sentence and can be as long as life. Additionally, the heroin conviction could carry a fine of up to $20 million for each individual. With so many drugs involved and so many different charges levied against them, these individuals' very livelihoods hang in the balance.

With their lives at stake, these individuals, and others similarly situated, should seek help from an experienced California defense attorney. An attorney can seek to get evidence suppressed by showing illegalities in the investigation. If searches were not supported by warrants or probable cause, the evidence may be suppressed, leading to dropped or lessened charges. In a big case like this there is a lot to consider and a lot to fight, but having a defense attorney with a proven track record of success can make all the difference between living free and living incarcerated.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "57 face charges over drug smuggling via big-rig axles," Richard Winton, Aug. 15, 2013

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