In the last couple of years, there have been increasing reports of heroin-related deaths in the United States, and Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has deemed the state's heroin problem "dire." In fact, the Pennsylvania Association of Coroners reported that in the last two years, there have been 484 heroin-related deaths statewide.
Allegheny and Montgomery counties have reportedly seen the most activity around heroin, but the district attorney in Cumberland County recently claimed that the reach of dealers has extended beyond the cities and into the suburbs and rural communities. With the attorney general and county prosecutors taking such notice, crackdowns on heroin trafficking are likely to follow.
The attorney general stated that since much of the heroin is being produced in Afghanistan and Mexico, federal and state law enforcement agencies will have to work together to investigate heroin trafficking.
Generally, when an individual has been charged with a federal drug crime, the case has been thoroughly investigated, and the accused individual will need a strong criminal defense. Federal drug charges are subject to higher evidentiary standards than state drug charges, so anyone accused by federal authorities of drug trafficking should know that the situation is very serious.
Still, law enforcement officers at every level are capable making mistakes, and close scrutiny of the evidence in a case may reveal procedural errors on the part of the prosecution.
For defendants, often the keys to a favorable defense outcome are early intervention and preparation. In any case, individuals accused of federal drug crimes will need an aggressive and strategic defense.
Source: abc27.com, "AG: Heroin use a dire situation in Pa.," Dave Marcheskie, Nov. 21, 2013