According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago, two men were recently arrested for their alleged leadership in a drug ring. They, along with 25 others, were arrested as part of a nationwide effort to target those trafficking illegal drugs.
A total of 39 defendants are apparently facing drug charges in the investigation. Prosecutors specifically accuse the two men of leading their own drug trafficking organizations that bought and sold powder cocaine on Chicago’s southwest side. They also say the men sometimes supplied one another with cocaine and made efforts to avoid detection, making use of code words, replacing telephones and using different vehicles to transport drugs.
In cases like this, one common charge against defendants is conspiracy. Many people have little knowledge about what little evidence it takes for police to obtain an indictment on this charge under federal law. Police do not need to prove that the defendant actually possessed any drugs, nor that the defendant acted in any way to further the conspiracy, nor that one was a member of the conspiracy for the entire time it existed.
Sometimes those charged with drug conspiracy had a very minimal part in any illegal activity that may have existed. Those who merely associate with people in the drug business are sometimes implicated by even minor actions. For police and prosecutors, if you appear to be part of the group, you can be indicted in a conspiracy.
Those facing conspiracy and other drug charges do well to contact an attorney who has experience in the field. Building a strong defense plays an important role in getting charges minimized or altogether dismissed.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Feds: Alleged Chicago drug ring leaders arrested,” September 29, 2012.