Investigation Leads To Indictment Of 23 On Federal Drug Charges
Federal prosecutors recently indicted 23 people on federal drug trafficking charges. The investigation involved alleged drug activities in several neighborhoods in the Seattle area. Of the 23 indicted, 18 had been arrested by the time the indictment was announced. The investigation lasted more than two years and involved law enforcement officers on the local, state and federal levels.
Drug distribution and manufacture are among the most serious federal drug charges one can face. Those found guilty face massive fines, lengthy prison sentences, and other penalties. In large-scale investigations of this type, it is common for anyone implicated to be charged in the same conspiracy. Even those whose roles are relatively minor face penalties that might be considered more appropriate for ringleaders.
In this case, the individuals indicted are accused of participating in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. The alleged conspiracy included activity in Seattle, Kent, Renton, and Shoreline. The 18 people who were arrested appeared in federal court to answer charges. Wiretaps and undercover officers were used to gather evidence of the conspiracy.
Federal drug charges carry the specter of highly questionable sentencing guidelines. Mandatory minimum prison sentences remove judicial discretion in cases where it might be warranted. When a minor player or glorified acquaintance of someone truly involved in a conspiracy is charged with conspiracy, the penalties are often out of line with the person's actions. The need for strong defense is never greater than in cases involving drug trafficking conspiracy allegations.