When Louisiana police investigate drug offenses, they are often seeking to break up entire networks of distribution. Often, Louisiana State Police will operate in cooperation with federal investigators, gathering evidence through wiretaps or other means and then arrest multiple suspects in a so-called sweep.
Recently, 14 people were arrested in what authorities described as a long-term investigation into drug trafficking in Avoyelles Parish. Police said they had warrants out for 18 people in total, and as of this writing they expected to apprehend the four other suspects within days. The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office made the arrests, with assistance from both Louisiana State Police and the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force.
According to police, the 14 people arrested were involved in the trafficking of marijuana, crack cocaine and other drugs. The suspects range in age from 19 to 58, and their charges range from possession of a controlled substance to distribution of a controlled substance.
Both Louisiana and federal laws may come into play in prosecution of alleged drug crimes. Possession is considered a lesser charge, but those convicted may face long jail terms and large fines, depending upon the type of substance and other factors. Distribution and intent to distribute are considered greater charges and conviction may carry more than a year in jail and other penalties.
Louisiana residents facing drug charges are entitled to a defense. A good defense begins with a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the arrest. It's a good idea for those accused of these crimes to get started building a defense as soon as possible.
Source: The Town Talk, "14 Avoyelles residents facing drug charges," Oct. 24, 2013