A federal grand jury handed down indictments for six defendants in Las Vegas accused of involvement with trafficking pain killers throughout the West. Confidential informants alerted federal drug agents to an operation with more than 40 people involved. The operation involved patients obtaining prescriptions for Oxycodone and then selling the medications to the group’s leader for $12 per pill. The pills were then sold on the street for $30 each.
Federal drug enforcement agents have become increasingly aggressive in cracking down on prescription drug abuse in recent years, and the six who were indicted are likely to be aggressively prosecuted.
Any defendants accused of involvement with the conspiracy to obtain and sell Oxycodone or other drugs may be charged with all crimes committed by co-conspirators,. This often means even individuals with minor involvement in drug crime rings end up facing felony charges that could carry decades of imprisonment. A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer with experience handling federal criminal cases can provide assistance to those accused of drug crimes, including drug offenses in which controlled substances were sold across state lines.
Multi-State Oxycodone Sales Leads to Federal Charges
The defendants accused of involvement with the Oxycodone ring have each been charged with one felony count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The prosecutor’s evidence against the defendants comes from an investigation that began in March of 2014. Investigators used under cover agents and court-approved wiretaps to learn more about how the operation worked. An estimated 2,449 Oxycodone pills were also discovered.
In cases like this, experienced criminal defense attorneys can look carefully at how the investigation was conducted. If authorities expanded the scope of their investigations beyond what warrants permitted and any Fourth Amendment violations occurred, an attorney may argue for the suppression of evidence so it cannot be used to secure convictions. Attorneys representing defendants in drug crime cases may also use other techniques in trial designed to introduce enough reasonable doubt that a jury won’t feel comfortable convicting.
Many defendants in drug crimes cases are concerned about facing federal mandatory minimum prison sentences, and so defendants often wish to explore alternatives to taking their case to trial. There may be multiple possible options a drug crimes defense lawyer can explore with clients. For example, whenever multiple parties are arrested in connection with a drug crime, an attorney can discuss the possibility of an immunity deal in exchange for providing information to authorities. In other cases, plea bargains may also be arranged to help reduce the seriousness of the charges or penalties.
More and more defendants who are involved with controlled substances offenses are likely to face arrest and need to make strategic choices about how to deal with charges. The Nevada U.S. Attorney spoke with the Las Vegas Review Journal about the case, warning: “Persons who are buying prescription drugs from patients and re-selling them for profit are drug dealers, plain and simple, and will be investigated and prosecuted by the federal government.”
The federal government has indicated it has multiple ongoing investigations into prescription drug crime rings, not just in Las Vegas but throughout the United States. Five physicians are among those who have already faced charges, and more doctors are being targeted by federal authorities. U.S. authorities are concerned about increasing prescription drug abuse and are concerned that children could purchase the drugs or that the drugs could be of unknown origin.
If you are caught up in the federal government’s aggressive efforts to investigate drug offenses, you need to understand your rights. LV Criminal Defense can represent defendants accused of state drug offenses in Nevada and can provide representation to defendants accused of federal offenses including trafficking controlled substances across state lines. Call today to learn more.