On Dec. 11, several people in New Jersey appeared in court on drug charges as a result of a raid executed by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The U.S. attorney’s office claims that the eight people arrested were involved in a national trafficking organization that distributed crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin throughout the country. Authorities in California were still searching for two people allegedly involved in the illicit activity at the time of the report. In Pennsylvania, a ninth individual was apprehended as well.

One of the people arrested was charged with one count of money laundering. The other seven people apprehended faced charges that include conspiracy to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, more than 280 grams of crack cocaine and over five kilograms of cocaine. Reports claim that the 5:30 a.m. raid led to a 4-hour standoff with a 39-year-old male being sought by police. Each of the defendants appeared in federal court on Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. in Camden.

The person arrested for money laundering could face charges that include $250,000 and 10 years in prison. The person arrested in Pennsylvania was charged with conspiracy to distribute. A 42-year-old Pleasantville resident was charged with money laundering and conspiracy to distribute. The maximum penalty for the conspiracy charges is life behind bars, and the minimum sentence is 10 years. The defendants are subject to being fined up to $10 million if convicted.

People who are accused on serious drug charges may benefit from consulting a criminal defense lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to examine the allegations and help discern whether or not the charges are credible. By gathering a preponderance of evidence from the witness reports, the defendant’s account and the police report, a lawyer may be able to develop a viable strategy for obtaining reduced charges, an acquittal or dismissal.

Source: NJ.com, ” Atlantic City drug raids nab 8 on crack and heroin distribution charges”, Lisa Rose, December 11, 2014