Dozens of Southern Oregon residents arrested on federal charges

Conviction on federal charges typically brings harsher punishments than felonies in most states. Addressing charges in federal court is more difficult than in state and county courts because federal prosecutors rarely offer plea deals. Only a strong criminal defense can help someone who has been accused of a federal crime.

In Southern Oregon, 40 people have now been arrested on various charges following a 2-year multi-county investigation; 31 of those arrested now face federal firearms and drug charges. The arrests resulted from operation Rap It Up, which originally began as a 2012 investigation following the shooting death of a 5-year-old girl in Grants Pass. Evidence uncovered a vast operation in which guns were being illegally purchased and then used in crimes in Oregon, California, and Nevada. The violent gangs allegedly involved also operated prostitution and drug enterprises in the same areas. During the investigation, law enforcement personnel reportedly interrupted two murder plots and several plans for robberies.

The combined federal, state and county operation involved two federal agencies: ATF and DEA; two Oregon agencies: Department of Justice and State Police; and five local law enforcement agencies: the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and the Medford, Central Point, Grants Pass and Klamath Falls police departments. Authorities confiscated ecstasy, oxycodone, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine as well as handguns and rifles.

In this case, the people charged must determine how severe the federal penalties are for each charge. Federal sentences are tougher because judges are generally required to follow strict sentencing guidelines.

Any Oregonian accused of a federal charge should speak with a lawyer who has experience defending against federal charges and can explain the details of the case against the defendant. Understanding the charges and federal procedures can help a defendant make decisions that can help avoid conviction or lead to reduced charges.


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