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12 accused of involvement in drug trafficking rings

On Sept. 3, authorities in Florida announced that 12 people has been taken into custody and two alleged drug trafficking organizations were dismantled. These organizations were thought to be bringing cocaine into Jacksonville.

One of the accused individuals was the son of a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office corrections officer. He was taken into custody on Aug. 21 after he fled from his vehicle when he saw investigators approaching. He allegedly jumped a fence and attempted to get away in a vehicle that had two female occupants. A traffic stop was conducted and a handgun was seized. The corrections officer was also charged with aiding the son's escape, though it was not known if she played a role in any of the drug organizations.

Authorities seized a large amount of drugs, including 32.5 kilograms and 16.5 pounds of marijuana. Five vehicles and two AK-47 rifles that were connected to the operations were also seized. The other individuals who were in custody ranged in ages from 26 to 55. The charges ranged from conspiring to traffic cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to sell and smuggling cocaine, among other offenses.

Drug trafficking charges can result in serious consequences if a person is convicted. In addition to a prison sentence, the person may potentially face a lengthy probation sentence and fines. A criminal law attorney may potentially argue that there is not enough evidence to prove that a person was involved in a drug trafficking organization. The attorney may also have the ability to have some evidence become inadmissible in court, especially if the evidence was tampered with. Finally, a plea deal may also be negotiated. This can result in less severe consequences.

Source:First Coast News, "JSO: 12 arrests, millions in drug seizures in multi-state drug bust", Garrett Pelican and Steven Dial, Sept. 4, 2015

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