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Louisiana police make arrests in alleged drug trafficking

Sometimes in Louisiana, one arrest leads to another and then another after that. When police get evidence of drug crimes, they often try to trace the distribution channels of the drug and make as many arrests as they can. Soon a whole group can face drug charges, including possession with intent to distribute, which can carry stiff penalties.

Police recently arrested at least five people in three separate arrests, cracking down on what they called a drug-trafficking operation. Police said that in their investigation they seized nine pounds of high-quality marijuana and other drugs, possibly worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Investigators believe the marijuana was delivered to Louisiana from elsewhere.

The first of this group of arrests took place April 2, when police said they arrested a man and charged him with both drug and gun crimes. A few days later, they arrested the man's father and charged him with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. In an investigation that may have been related, police also arrested a group of men and charged them with drug distribution offenses, also allegedly involving imported high-grade marijuana.

Generally, if police say they found a certain amount of marijuana or more, they presume that the suspect intended to sell it. Drug distribution is a more serious charge than drug possession under both Louisiana and federal laws, and conviction of the charge can carry penalties of three to five years in prison. The exact penalty depends upon the type and amount of drug seized.

It is important to remember that Louisiana residents who have been accused of drug crimes are all entitled to a trial by their peers and a strong defense. While news reports sometimes make the evidence sound overwhelming, it often turns out upon closer inspection that the evidence is not as strong as it first seems. A strong defense strategy points out weaknesses in the evidence and exposes moments in the investigation when police might have exceeded their authority. With the right strategy, those who are accused may avoid or minimize the consequences that come with these serious charges.

Source: The Advocate, "Deputies seize drugs, make arrests," Ryan Broussard, April 16, 2013

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