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Federal drug arrest stems from heroin overdose death

A criminal charge can ruin a person's life anywhere in the United States, including Washington. And if the charge is linked to a federal crime, Washington residents should be more wary of the potential consequences of the allegation. For one, federal criminal charges are more serious than felonies and misdemeanors. A federal criminal accusation can result in a lengthy prison sentence, hefty fines, probation and other penalties. The amount of evidence used in a federal court is mounting and criminal investigations usually take months.

For example, a federal investigation recently resulted in 13 arrests when, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 13 people were taken into custody for federal drug charges of possession and distribution of heroin, a controlled substance. The arrests were made after several months of investigations using GPS tracking of cell phones and wiretaps. The investigators served 20 search warrants in five different areas, including one in Washington.

According to the federal indictment, three men, aged 27, 37 and 26, were initially arrested after investigators served a warrant to search their homes. During the search, the police allegedly confiscated over $54,000 worth of cash, cell phones and paraphernalia used for drug packaging. One defendant reportedly told police that the $20,000 confiscated from his apartment was from drug distribution. The indictment also added that at least 15 individuals are facing accusation of possessing and distributing heroin from October 2014 to February 2015. Investigators alleged that the distribution involves amounts of drugs ranging from at least 100 grams to over one kilogram.

For any defendant, being accused of a federal crime can be both emotionally and mentally challenging. Despite that, the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and criminal law entitles defendants the rights to contest charges and evidence used following the investigation.

Source: Oregonlive, "Oregon, SW Washington federal drug investigation linked to 2 heroin overdose deaths", Everton Bailey Jr., Feb. 12, 2015

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