A 32-year-old man was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison on Sept. 11 for using trains to smuggle drugs from California to Illinois. The defendant, a California resident, oversaw an operation that transported thousands of kilograms of heroin and cocaine between the states over a six-year period.
According to authorities, the defendant directed the shipment of hundreds of packages of drugs from Los Angeles to Chicago between 2010 and 2016. He reportedly worked with an Amtrak employee to ensure the packages were not detected by law enforcement agents along the way. Once the packages arrived at Union Station in Chicago, other members of the drug ring would pick them up and stash them at various locations for eventual sale. Every so often, the defendant and other members of the ring would board commercial planes to fly cash profits back to Los Angeles. During these flights, each person would carry up to $150,000.
A lengthy investigation eventually uncovered the drug ring’s activities, and the defendant was arrested. He pleaded guilty to drug and money laundering charges earlier this year. More than 20 other members of the drug ring were also charged. Some of them have already pleaded guilty. The investigation was conducted by members of the multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Defendants facing drug charges could help their situation by immediately contacting a criminal defense attorney for help. The attorney could protect the defendant’s constitutional rights during all legal proceedings and work to develop a strong defense against the accusations. In some cases, these efforts could cause the charges to be dropped. In others, they could help get the charges and penalties reduced.
Source: Elgin Patch, “Leader Of Heroin, Cocaine Trafficking Operation Sentenced“, Amie Rowland, Sept. 12, 2018