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Raid leads to large drug stash, federal charges for Houston men

Allegations of drug possession are serious on both the state and federal levels. With that mind, readers in Texas will be interested in a recent raid by federal authorities in Pennsylvania. Reportedly, an alleged drug ring was broken up, and authorities have made drug charges against four people, some of who are from the Houston area. The suspects were arrested on federal drug charges that included allegations of drug trafficking. The investigation was said to have been conducted by several state, federal and local law enforcement agencies.

A news release from the United States Attorney's Office alleged that the four men conspired to work together and with others to distribute cocaine on multiple occasions. A grand jury indicted all of the men based on a federal investigation that apparently began in 2009 and continued into September of 2011. A federal raid purportedly resulted in the seizure of 35 pounds of cocaine, the estimated street value of which is $3 million. Authorities also confiscated $7 million in currency.

Law enforcement officials have also claimed to have seized a tractor-trailer that was purportedly connected to the drug sting. The truck was said to have been used to transport the cocaine from Texas to the Pittsburgh area. Exactly where the drugs initially came from remains unclear, and no specific details of the investigation or the raid were divulged at the time of news reports.

One of the men taken into custody was an assistant football and basketball coach in a Pennsylvania town. He has no criminal record other than a drunk-driving charge. One of the other men also had a drunk-driving charge, but records showed that he also had once pled guilty to conspiracy of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. In a separate case, that man also pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Regardless of the past history of the men and the current drug charges against them, they are still entitled to a fair representation in court. Accused individuals must be presumed to be innocent unless and until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt. The federal charges against the men in this case carry the possibility of 10 years to life in prison, a severe financial penalty of $10 million, or even both. A strong defense will be needed by all of the men to fight these charges and to ensure the legal rights of the accused are upheld.

Source: timesonline.com, "Four indicted on federal drug charges," Kristen Doerschner, Dec. 15, 2011

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