On Sept. 17, a 33-year-old business owner in Pennsylvania pleaded not guilty to drug charges brought on by federal prosecutors. The Glenshaw man is accused of conspiring to distribute heroin with two alleged members of a gang. The charges were filed in 2012, and the storeowner could receive 10 years to life in federal prison if he is convicted.
Investigators claim the man was not selling drugs directly but was supplying the two gang members with cutting agents and packaging materials for distributing the heroin. After the drug trafficking indictment in 2012, he was remanded to his home until his next court hearing. However, another indictment filed in 2013 claims that the storeowner continued to supply the materials even after he was placed on house arrest.
The storeowner was accused of selling the materials from his own home as well as his store in the North Hills suburbs. The man's 70-year-old father also faces conspiracy charges for allegedly selling the same items at his own store in downtown Pittsburgh. In 1991, he was indicted and sentenced to probation for allegedly selling drug paraphernalia. However, he allegedly violated court orders, and he was convicted to two years in prison in 2000.
Anyone facing federal drug charges may benefit from hiring a criminal defense lawyer. A legal professional may be able to investigate the charges and assess the viability of exonerating the defendant. After evaluating the charges and the prosecution's evidence, defense counsel may choose to focus on dismantling the prosecution's case by exposing any breaches in police protocol or procedural errors made during the investigation.
Source: SF Gate, "Man pleads not guilty to selling heroin supplies", Joe Mandak, September 17, 2014