If federal prosecutors have announced charges against an individual suspected of drug trafficking, then authorities have likely conducted a thorough investigation, and defendants should expect an aggressive prosecution to follow. Defendants faced with this situation will need a strong criminal defense throughout the entire legal process to achieve a favorable outcome.
Recently, a man facing a possible 10-year sentence was sentenced to six years in prison after prosecutors were able to link him to an 18-wheeler carrying cocaine with an estimated value of $4 million. Back in 2011, the truck was reportedly en route to a farm outside of Pittsburgh. Authorities claimed that the defendant organized the delivery of the drugs while staying at a hotel in Monroeville.
According to a U.S. attorney, the Drug Enforcement Administration used a plane to track the cocaine from Mexico, then to North Carolina, and finally to Pennsylvania. Investigators said that a secret compartment for hiding the drugs was found in the trailer of the truck, which was reportedly registered in California.
In their investigation, authorities claimed to have seized 20 kilograms of cocaine, $450,000 in cash, and some SUVs.
Along with the man facing a six-year sentence, 13 other individuals have already pleaded guilty in connection with the alleged crimes.
The federal judge hearing the case said that he believed the man's sentence was fair, but prosecutors are reportedly considering an appeal in hopes of a longer sentence.
Drug trafficking charges are taken extremely seriously on the federal level, but that doesn't mean that a favorable outcome isn't possible. The burden of proof falls on the prosecution, and in many cases, a defendant's case can be helped significantly if legal action is taken sooner rather than later.
Source: CBS Pittsburgh, "Drug Trafficker Sentenced For Role In Massive 2011 Bust," Harold Hayes, Jan. 13, 2014