A 65-year-old man has been accused of being involved with a Mexican drug cartel for nearly two decades. The man, who was born in Mexico but is now a legal citizen of the U.S., is facing federal drug charges. Law enforcement officials conducted a raid on his property.
Authorities claimed that the raid was the result of an investigation that went on for over a year, and that it required the cooperation between state, federal and local law enforcement officials. Dubbed Operation Telarana, Spanish for spider web, the investigation resulted in the detainment of over a dozen suspects.
Officials accuse the 65-year-old man of using his Chester County landscaping company to hide his activities as a distributor of drugs for Mexico's La Familia cartel. Several members of the man's family were also detained in the raid, including his wife, son and nephew.
Much of the evidence in the case reportedly came as the result of tips from informants and conversations monitored by law enforcement after they successfully tapped the man's cell phone. His bail is set at $1 million. He is facing upwards of 600 criminal counts, including charges related to possession of drugs, distribution and conspiracy.
Individuals who have been accused of criminal wrongdoing may find it helpful to retain the services of a legal professional. An attorney may be able to raise questions about the legality of evidence gathering techniques such as phone taps, challenge the validity of the search warrants issued to justify a raid or negotiate with prosecutors to have the criminal charges against their client reduced or dismissed.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Drug Kingpin Busted After Living Openly In Rural Pennsylvania For Decades", Michael McLaughlin, May 31, 2014