A drug trafficking conviction carries severe penalties in federal court. Furthermore, because successful defense strategies may exist and courts are inconsistent with the severity of federal sentences, it is important to ensure your rights are protected when suspected of drug crimes.
Recently, a Sacramento man who was brought to court on a federal drug trafficking charge faced conviction. According to news reports, a 46-year-old California man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for trafficking cocaine and laundering money.
The charges were brought by the United States Attorney's Office following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Unit. According to court files, the investigation into the man's operations occurred between December 2003 and March 2006 and spanned from California to Alaska.
Investigating agents used wiretaps and surveillance to intercept packages the man was shipping using a commercial shipping business. Agents reportedly seized nearly 13 kilograms of cocaine that were headed out of the state. Once the packages arrived at their intended destination, the accused man oversaw the distribution of a trafficking network.
In addition to drug trafficking, the man was charged and convicted of money laundering, which included the purchase and renovation of a Sacramento duplex through another person acting as a front.
Drug charges of any kind can carry significant sentences if the prosecution chooses to aggressively push for conviction. Because of this, it is always important to stage a strong defense from the very start. A person does not need to wait until federal law enforcement officials issue formal charges to employ the services of an attorney. In fact, as soon as federal investigations begin, a suspected individual's rights are at risk of being violated.
Source: Elk Grove Patch, "Man Allegedly Tried to Mail Cocaine from Elk Grove to Alaska," Cody Kitaura, September 19, 2012