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Florida gang members face multiple criminal charges

Federal and Florida state authorities say that 29 people were charged and indicted for a variety of crimes including racketeering, drug trafficking and firearms violations by convicted felons. If convicted, they could face many years in prison. Of those who were indicted, 23 of them reportedly belonged to a gang called the Latin Kings.

Several of those who were charged were believed to be leaders within the gang at the state and local level. The charges and indictments came as the result of an operation involving the United States Attorney's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Broward Sheriff's Office. The stated goal of the operation was to reduce arms trafficking and gang activity in Broward County.

Those who are charged with drug trafficking or drug possession offenses could face many severe penalties. In many cases, a conviction on such charges could result in a long prison sentence. Therefore, it may be worthwhile for defendants to seek the representation of criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to review the case and come up with a strategy that attempts to dispute the charge.

For instance, it may be possible to claim that the defendant was not in possession of the drugs or did not know that he or she was in possession of drugs. Those who were required to use or sell drugs under threat of harm may also have charges dropped or reduced. Casting doubt upon witness testimony or a police report in the case may result in drug charges being dropped or reduced as part of a plea agreement.

Source: CBS Miami, "So. Florida Latin Kings Gang Members Facing Racketeering Charges", May 12, 2015

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