Given its closeness to the Mexican border, it’s hardly surprising Texas is on the front line for drug trafficking offenses.
This was again illustrated in the latest big operation when more than $1.7 million in money was seized as part of the dismantling of a huge marijuana trafficking ring, U.S. Attorney Malcolm Bales said this week.
The Dallas Morning News reported the Attorney General also announced 17 convictions in North Texas in a case that started on a small scale with a tip to the Wylie Police Department in the fall of 2010 and mushroomed.
The Dallas Morning News reported Texas Department of Public Safety took the lead in this big scale investigation.
“Agents discovered money was being transported to Arizona, where the men involved would then pick up marijuana for distribution in Collin County and the city of Dallas. Money and drugs were hidden for transport in a secret compartment in a horse trailer,” reported the newspaper.
Bales said it was likely the ring distributed about 30,000 kilos of high-end marijuana which came from Mexico before the bust.
As well as seizing money, investigators took guns, the horse trailer and high-end vehicles.
The kind of drug offenses that end up in federal court are taken very seriously and the penalties that those who are charged with drug offenses in federal court are mind boggling.
We have seen many instances of young people, without any criminal record, who are facing a minimum of 10 years in federal prison based upon drug trafficking charges.
This is a minimum sentence. The reality is that they often face harsher sentences in the range of 30 years to life. Also, unlike state prison, persons serving time in federal prison must serve 85 percent of their sentence.
It is crucial for those who are charged with drug offenses to hire an attorney with expertise in federal court and the federal sentencing guidelines immediately.
In a recent case Clint Broden and Mick Mickelsen traveled to federal court in Midland, Texas to represent a client facing almost 30 years in a federal prison. He had three previous federal drug convictions, was found with almost $10,000 in cash and several kilograms of cocaine in his vehicle, and fought with police when he was arrested. After a three day jury trial in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, our client was found not guilty.