On Sept. 17, Florida authorities announced the arrests of 10 people allegedly connected with a drug distribution ring in the central part of the state. One person remains at large.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the drug ring was led by four siblings, who were among those taken into custody. They reportedly worked with the other defendants to transport heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine from Mexico to Florida, where the drugs were sold. The drugs were allegedly supplied by members of a Mexican cartel, and the ring transported up to 10 kilos of heroin into the U.S. each month.
Authorities said overdose deaths linked to heroin and fentanyl have been on the rise in Central Florida lately. However, they believe this drug bust will help reverse that trend and make the streets safer. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the investigation by the Orlando Police Department, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Volusia Bureau of Investigation.
If convicted, defendants facing drug trafficking charges could be sentenced to many years in prison. After their release from custody, they will be left with a lifelong criminal record, which could hinder attempts to gain employment. However, a criminal defense attorney may be able to mitigate such penalties and protect a defendant’s future. An attorney could challenge the prosecution’s evidence and question its version of events, which if successful could lead to an acquittal. Another strategy could involve negotiating a plea deal that lets the defendant plead guilty to less serious charges in exchange for a reduced penalty.
Source: WFTV, “10 drug traffickers arrested, 1 at large in ‘Last of the Mojicas’ bust, officials say“, Kelly Healey, Sept. 17, 2018