In August 2015, three individuals from the Tampa region pleaded guilty to conspiracy following accusations related to the synthetic recreational drug known as Spice. Two of the trio, a 28-year-old man and a 25-year-old man, admitted to dual federal allegations. These men may spend as long as two decades serving prison time as a result of their conspiracy drug charges.
The two men who pleaded guilty were also reported to have sacrificed almost $500,000 in personal assets. Reports said that another individual charged in conjunction with the crimes, a 24-year-old woman, only pleaded guilty to a single charge for drug paraphernalia. Her charge was also a conspiracy charge, however, so she could be sentenced to up to three years in prison.
Reports didn’t say how the amount of Spice involved in the dealings might impact the severity of sentencing for the three, but it was noted that law enforcement officials seized an alleged $5.4 million worth of a key ingredient in the drug in November. At the time of reporting, a fourth man who was believed to be involved in the case was awaiting an August trial date.
Federal drug charges depend on numerous forms of evidence, including police statements about the value of illicit substances seized. Because drug prices aren’t officially standardized, however, local authorities can exercise their own judgment in assessing the worth of illegal materials and the associated level of offense. Prosecutors may then try to make the accused believe they have little chance of escaping conviction. While plea bargains can be valid defense options, those who face charges should learn about all the legal alternatives and how they relate to their circumstances before accepting any deals.