The FBI recently raided several locations in Ohio in connection with an alleged heroin ring. Possession and distribution of heroin is an allegation that if substantiated beyond a reasonable doubt can result in a serious drug crime conviction.
So far, 20 people have been indicted for the alleged heroin drug ring. The indictment specifically accuses the individuals of conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute. Authorities acted on the indictment, getting search warrants to carry out raids at several locations in Ohio. Officials brought 16 people into custody following the raid. Authorities are still looking for the four others named in the indictment.
Drug possession and drug distribution have serious consequences under Ohio law. In this particular case, each individual faces 10 years in prison. Chapter 2925 of the Ohio Code outlines all of the possible punishments. Such facts like the amount of drugs and whether distribution of such drugs took place near a school affect the severity and length of a punishment.
There are other factors that come into play, too. Often, the FBI and other authorities are looking to take down the leader of a drug ring. As a result, a prosecutor may be willing to work out a deal with those individuals who are involved peripherally, but who are willing to provide the government with information.
The government's approach to negotiating drug cases is actually consistent with how the law is set forth. There are caps on the punishments and sentences for minor drug charges and involvement in a drug ring. These caps and negotiation strategies can become crucial in building a strong defense to a drug charge. Individuals facing such allegations have flexibility under the law and can avoid serious consequences if they and their attorney act strategically.
Source: Wlwt.com, "FBI: Group tried to corner heroin market in Over-the-Rhine," March 1, 2013
A Cincinnati man faces eight years in prison following his conviction in Warren County Common Pleas Court on drug trafficking charges. A jury found that Allen Honeycutt was part of a drug distribution ring that supplied marijuana to students in two Warren County school districts. (H/T Cincinnati Enquirer)
The Warren County Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement alleging that Allen Honeycutt and his co-conspirators “made hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars trafficking drugs” to students in the Mason and Kings school districts. A jury convicted him on charges of trafficking, possession of marijuana, cultivation of marijuana, possession of criminal tools, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The judge sentenced him to serve eight years in prison and pay fines totaling $17,500.
Investigators presented evidence that Honeycutt had a role in three indoor growing operations that produced high-grade marijuana that the organization sold throughout southwest. Officers seized 600 marijuana plants, more than $100,000 in cash, and several hundred grams of harvested marijuana. The marijuana was worth an estimated $2.9 million.
Students involved in the distribution of the drugs have also faced criminal charges. One of the students is currently in juvenile detention.
The stiff sentence in this case illustrates the benefits of obtaining experienced defense counsel as soon as possible. An attorney with experience in drug trafficking cases can help people accused of drug crimes minimize or avoid the consequences of conviction through constitutional challenges to, for example, the circumstances of an arrest, execution of a search warrant, or traffic stop of a motor vehicle. If the facts of your case show that conviction of a state or federal offense is a likely outcome, the defense attorney can do everything possible to find sentencing alternatives that will keep the defendant out of state or federal prison. This can often be accomplished through negotiation with the prosecution toward a mutually acceptable guilty plea, or through a well prepared and persuasive presentation to the court at a sentencing hearing.
Cincinnati residents may have learned of an arrest that occurred after a car wreck on New Year's day. According to reports, a 20-year-old Ohio resident crashed his car while reportedly driving under the influence. Upon arrival at the scene, the police discovered illegal drugs, a large amount of cash and a loaded pistol that allegedly had its serial numbers erased.
The man was charged with numerous drug charges, including possession of marijuana and cocaine, trafficking of marijuana and cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of drug instruments. Many of these drug charges are serious felonies for which strict jail sentences exist should a conviction be imposed.
The drug possession charges stem from the 14 grams of cocaine and over nine pounds of marijuana that police reportedly confiscated from his vehicle. Due to the large amount of drugs and the additional $14,000 in cash that was also confiscated, prosecutors have charged the man with illegally trafficking drugs.
Although some offenses are more serious than others, any type of drug charge should be taken very seriously. Ohio courts impose harsh penalties for a violation of these laws, which may include significant incarceration time. It is possible, however, for an experienced criminal attorney to successfully fight drug charges such as these.
An experienced criminal attorney can employ a number of strategies to exonerate an individual who has been wrongly charged with a drug offense. Criminal defense attorneys can also use their expertise to mitigate the harshest penalties for an individual who is facing these types of charges so that they can obtain the best possible result from their individual case.
Source: Ohio.com, "Man arrested in early morning Stark County crash faces drug charges," Jan. 3, 2013