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Corpus Christi Criminal Defense Blog

Texas authorities take 25 into custody on drug charges

On May 21, Texas authorities organized a massive raid that hit several places in the state, including San Antonio, McAllen, Corpus Christi and Austin. According to reports, the authorities were targeting at least 30 alleged members involved in a drug-trafficking ring. It was also believed that some of these individuals were involved with the Tango Orejon gang.

According to an assistant special agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency in San Antonio, the Tango Orejon gang is a drug trafficking organization with many members who have criminal and violent backgrounds. Two of the targeted suspects, a 37-year-old man and a 39-year-old man, were thought to be ringleaders in San Antonio. Their group was suspected to be trafficking methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl.

Do police need a warrant to enter your home in Texas?

No one wants to hear police knock on their door. If police arrive at your house, you need to know about your rights under Texas and federal law. If you don't know your rights, you may not assert them properly, which can increase your risk of criminal consequences.

For example, many people aren't sure about their rights when law enforcement officers arrive at their home and want to talk. They often ask to come inside and discuss something with you, but that is usually a tactic that allows them to conduct a cursory visual search for anything that will give them a reason to conduct a larger search.

What happens if I consent to a search in Texas?

Dealing with a police encounter is stressful. However, you could easily exacerbate things and make them harder on yourself if you don't understand your rights as a resident of Texas. People often make mistakes due to misinformation or nervousness during encounters with law enforcement that can later have serious repercussions.

One such a mistake is thoughtlessly agreeing to a law enforcement search of your vehicle or home. Agreeing to let police conduct a search, even just a search of your phone, can result in them finding something you didn't expect, which quickly gives rise to legal complications.

Judge sentences 2 doctors, 1 nurse for drug trafficking

In May, a judge sentenced two doctors and a nurse to federal prison for trafficking opioids and other prescription drugs. The sentences were handed down in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

In one case, a 58-year-old male doctor was accused of writing prescriptions out of his clinics in Sherman and Paris for no legitimate medical reason. The prescriptions were for medications like alprazolam, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone and zolpidem. On July 15, 2014, the defendant wrote prescriptions for alprazolam, morphine, oxycodone and zolpidem to a patient. On July 25, 2014, that patient overdosed and died. Between 2010 and 2017, six other patients may also have died after receiving illegal prescriptions from the defendant. He was convicted of one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and one count of health care fraud. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Texas jury convicts man on drug and weapons charges

Federal prosecutors in Texas have reported that a 44-year-old Illinois man was convicted on drug trafficking and weapons charges on April 29 after a four-day trial. The Chicago native could be sent to prison for life when he is sentenced. His sentencing hearing will be scheduled once the U.S. Probation Office has completed a presentence investigation. Another individual who was taken into custody with the man in September 2017 was sentenced to 94 months in a federal prison on drug possession charges after entering into a plea agreement with U.S. attorneys.

The sequence of events that led to the man's conviction began when a vehicle he was traveling in was pulled over by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in Titus County for a marked lane violation. During the vehicle stop, the man is said to have fled on foot while his passenger got behind the wheel and left the scene. The vehicle was later disabled in Bowie County after deputies laid spike strips in the roadway. The man was apprehended as he walked down a nearby rural road.

Michael Avenatti vows to fight embezzlement charges in court

Texas residents who watch the news likely became familiar with Michael Avenatti in March 2018 when he filed a lawsuit against President Trump over his alleged affair with Stormy Daniels. The forceful litigator quickly became a household name and was even said to be mulling a run for the White House of his own, but those days may have seemed like a long time ago on April 29 when Avenatti appeared in a federal court in Los Angeles charged with multiple counts of embezzlement, bank fraud and wire fraud.

Avenatti pleaded not guilty on all counts as he had vowed to do on social media just days before, but legal analysts think that he will find a federal jury much harder to convince than his legion of loyal Twitter followers. The U.S. attorneys who built the case against Avenatti say that he bilked his clients out of millions of dollars to pay for lavish apartments, luxury sports cars and a $5 million private jet.

7 alleged gangs members arrested in Texas on narcotics charges

On April 18, a coalition of law enforcement agencies organized a drug raid in San Antonio that took seven people into custody and seized nine firearms and 20 kilograms of methamphetamine. According to a 10-count indictment against the suspects, they were allegedly associated with San Antonio's East Side Bloods gang. They stand accused of distributing cocaine and methamphetamine in the city. Investigators claim that their supply sources originated in Austin.

Multiple agencies worked together for a year to identify the sources of the city's drug activity. The San Antonio Police Department cooperated with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Bexar County Sheriff's Office, Austin Police Department and Texas DPS among other agencies to counteract drug-related gang activities. A spokesperson with the Bexar County District Attorney's Office praised the collaboration between the groups.

Former police officer sentenced on drug charges

A former Texas police officer was sentenced to 130 months in prison on April 9 for possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute. The 40-year-old man will also serve four years of supervised release after completing his custodial sentence. In January, he admitted to helping a Hidalgo County criminal gang to rob drug traffickers while working for the Donna Independent School District Police Department.

The man admitted to conducting traffic stops so the gang he was associated with could steal drugs from narcotics smugglers and dealers. The gang also robbed drug stash houses and, on at least one occasion, held a terrified family at gunpoint after being given the wrong address. The man maintains that he merely facilitated the gang's activities and never participated in their acts of violence. In return for his guilty plea on the marijuana count, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a cocaine charge against him.

Actress to plead guilty in college admission fraud case

Many Texans are likely following the college admission scandal that has made headlines across the nation. Reports claim that 14 defendants will soon plead guilty to the charges against them in the fraud case. The Department of Justice said that actress Felicity Huffman, a star on the TV series "Desperate Housewives," is among those who plan to admit to paying thousands of dollars to gain unearned benefits for their children in the college admissions process. Huffman will reportedly plead guilty to paying $15,000 to get her older daughter additional time to take the SATs and to have a private proctor administer the test and falsely correct her answers.

In a statement, the actress said that she accepted responsibility for her role in the fraud. She apologized to her family, friends and the educational community as well as to students who work to earn their admission to college fairly and honestly. Huffman also said that her daughter was unaware of the scheme and had no idea that her SAT accommodations had been fraudulently obtained.

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