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Federal Conspiracy Drug Case Against Former Del Rio Officer Draws To A Close

On May 21, 2015, former Del Rio law enforcement officer Raymond Villarreal entered a guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Villarreal admitted to distributing cocaine from his body shop during the two-year period between January 2012 and December 2013. Sentencing was nearly two months later, on July 13. U.S. District Judge Alia Moses sentenced Villarreal to seven years in federal prison and ordered that he pay a $3,000 fine. Upon release, the now convicted felon will be supervised for five years.

Conspiracy Drug Charges

The charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute encompasses a number of violations. Typically this involves a collaboration with one or more people in order to plan, possess, sell and distribute drugs to others. This is a common charge for federal drug offenses and carries harsh penalties. Those charged will almost certainly do prison time. Drug statute 18 USC 371 is the charging authority for this federal crime, which federal prosecutors use the most frequently. These are serious and complicated cases.

On the Texas state level, the charge is more likely that of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity under Texas Penal code Section 71.02. It requires a collaboration between three or more people, and is often used when gang activity is involved. Penalties vary, depending upon the type of criminal behavior involved, its severity and other factors.

Texas Drug Charges

Conspiracy charges or federal prosecution are not necessary in order to make a drug charge a severe offense with life-altering consequences. You may face jail time for possession of less than one gram of a controlled substance. Enhanced first degree felony charges carry a minimum 15-year prison term. From possession to intent to distribute, charges involving marijuana, cocaine, or any other controlled substance are serious, and Texas prosecuting attorneys are aggressive. If you face any of these charges, prosecutors will try to put you in jail for as long as possible. The skills of an experienced criminal defense lawyer are imperative to minimize the impact of the potential penalties. Your attorney will pursue all possible defenses to obtain an acquittal. In some cases, lesser charges are possible. Regardless, seeking counsel is your best change for a successful outcome.

Sources:

http://sanangelolive.com/news/crime/2016-07-14/former-del-rio-police-officer-sentenced-7-years-federal-prison, http://statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-drug-possession-laws.html, http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.71.htm

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