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Corpus Christi Criminal Defense Blog

9 indicted on federal drug charges in San Antonio

Federal authorities in Texas have charged nine San Antonio-area men with drug distribution and money laundering. The federal indictments were unsealed on Sept. 7.

The defendants, who range in age from 38 to 46, were all charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They are being held in federal custody until they receive detention hearings.

Trafficking drugs in a school zone

Drug-related charges in Texas can come with severe penalties. However, depending on your location, if you are caught possessing, manufacturing, selling or distributing illegal drugs near a school or public park, you may face heightened penalties.

Read on to learn more about how your location can impact the sentence you face for drug-related offenses.

11 indicted in Texas for alleged drug ring

According to a Van Zandt County news release, 11 people have been indicted in federal court in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for their alleged participation in a drug ring. The indictments were announced on Aug. 30.

Van Zandt County reports that the indictments came after a months-long investigation. Multiple agencies participated in the investigation, including the Van Zandt's Sheriff's Office, Kaufman County Sheriff's Office, Canton Police Department, Mineola Police Department, Grand Saline Police Department, Kerens Police Department and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Charges dropped against Texas Tech football player

Texas Tech University football player Da'Leon Ward has had a busy few days. The talented running back was taken into custody on felony theft charges on Aug. 21 in connection with a campus investigation into stolen cellphones, but his situation improved significantly the following day when the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office announced that the charges had been dismissed and no further action was planned. In their motion to dismiss, prosecutors said that proceeding further in the case would not serve the interests of justice.

A warrant was issued for Ward's arrest after a Lubbock Country grand jury returned an indictment against him in June. The star athlete was accused of stealing cellphones from the university's Student Recreation Center. Ward is said to have become a person of interest in the case when one of the victims told police that Ward had contacted him to return the stolen phones. He claims that Ward told him that one of his friends had taken the phones.

28 people taken into custody in large drug sting

News sources report that 28 people in Central Texas were arrested in a large drug investigation. The people who were arrested were allegedly responsible for dealing drugs throughout the region. The arrests occurred on Aug. 16 in the Waco and Killeen areas.

The enforcement operation and arrests came after a grand jury indictment was unsealed. Officers reportedly seized 5 pounds of methamphetamine, 22 firearms and $16,000 in cash during the raid. Six of the people who were named in the indictment were already in custody, and officers were able to take the remaining 22 people into custody.

3 Texas men sentenced to federal prison for drug crimes

In early August, a Texas judge sentenced three Jacksonville men to federal prison for participating in drug trafficking crimes. Each of the defendants, ages 28, 32 and 33, had earlier pleaded guilty to drug possession with the intent to distribute.

According to court documents, federal investigators uncovered a drug trafficking operation in East Texas, which led to the indictment of eight defendants on various drug and firearms charges on Oct. 18, 2017. The drug charges included methamphetamine possession with the intent to distribute, cocaine possession with the intent to distribute, conspiracy to possess drugs with the intent to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute drugs on premises where children are present. The firearms charges included felon in possession of firearms and possession of firearms in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Some defendants were additionally charged with aiding and abetting.

What is the difference between federal and state crimes?

There are two kinds of courts in our country. Federal laws apply to everyone in the United States, while state and local laws apply to people within a state, city, county and other municipalities. 

States can enforce their own laws and their state constitutions, however, state and federal laws can overlap. Due to federalism, according to the United States Courts, both the federal government and each of the state governments have their own court systems.

Brothers sentenced to prison on drug charges

Two brothers will be spending decades in federal prison in a plea agreement reached regarding charges they had been running a large scale drug operation from their homes for years. The arrests, prosecution and sentencing of the two, along with a third unrelated individual, are the product of ramped-up efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and West Texas law enforcement officials to combat the illicit drug trade and go back as far as the beginning of 2015.

The illicit drugs included hundreds of kilograms of marijuana, cocaine and heroin. Although the court documents do not reveal the specific addresses of the homes of the two brothers, as part of the plea agreement, both homes were forfeited, along with motor vehicles and cash.

Former guards charged with smuggling drugs into jail

On July 26, two former Texas corrections officers were arrested for allegedly smuggling methamphetamine into the Bexar County Detention Center. The men were indicted by a federal grand jury on July 25.

According to authorities, the defendants, ages 29 and 26, were hired by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office on July 10, 2017. They were still probationary officers when they allegedly took part in a scheme to smuggle drugs into the jail between May 4 and June 22 of this year. The scheme was apparently discovered as the result of a sting operation.

Cartel leader on trial for drug smuggling

In mid-July, the trial of a 38-year-old man was being conducted under heavy security in a Texas federal courthouse. This was because the man was considered to be the leader of the Cartel de Noreste, which smuggled drugs from Mexico into the state. Authorities believe that he has helped to send thousands of kilograms of marijuana and cocaine into the area while also laundering millions of dollars.

The cartel leader was taken into custody in September 2016 and charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. According to authorities, the drugs were sent along Interstate 35, and the controlled substances were sent to other cities such as San Antonio. Authorities also say that the case against the man stretches back to 2012 when he came to the country from Mexico.

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