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Corpus Christi Criminal Defense Blog

Do you really understand your right to remain silent?

Anyone who has ever watched a police procedural television show or a movie that involves the arrest of a criminal has likely witnessed officers advising defendants of their Miranda rights. Although many laws and legal procedures vary from state to state, there are certain basic civil rights that those accused of crimes have regardless of where they are at the time of the arrest.

Those rights include your Miranda rights, the first and most important of which is your right to remain silent. Waiving your rights can impact the outcome of your interaction with law enforcement. Familiarizing yourself with this right can help you stand up for it if you find yourself in an unexpected interaction with law enforcement where they accuse you of a crime or question you about one.

Texas man found guilty of drug distribution and obstruction

A 30-year-old Texas man faces several years in federal prison after being found guilty of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. The Panola County resident was found guilty by a jury on June 28 following a trial that lasted for two weeks. He was originally indicted along with 10 other individuals in December 2017. He was the only defendant who chose to face a jury rather than enter into a plea agreement with the prosecution.

The man was originally put on trial in August 2018, but federal prosecutors dismissed the charges against him without prejudice when he introduced a series of Facebook posts allegedly written by a government witness that appeared to exonerate him. After conducting an investigation, prosecutors came to the conclusion that the man had created the posts himself to fool the jury. They then refiled the narcotics charges against the man and added counts of witness tampering and obstruction.

Study: Asset forfeiture does not help fight crime

Despite the claims of law enforcement associations, one study indicates that civil asset forfeiture has little impact on solving or reducing crime in Texas and across the country. Civil asset forfeiture allows police departments to seize property that they suspect of being connected in some way to criminal activity. According to the report by the Institute of Justice, there was no link between the amount of forfeiture funds received by state and local law enforcement agencies and drug use rates or the percentage of cases solved.

In addition, the researchers indicated that asset forfeiture may be used in some cases to support law enforcement revenues. They said that they saw a trend of increased forfeiture in areas suffering from economic difficulties. According to the study, a 1% increase in unemployment was correlated with a 9% increase in local forfeiture rates. Experts consulted by the institute said that the study's results backed up assertions that asset forfeiture does little to fight crime and instead primarily raises revenue for police agencies. The use of forfeiture laws shot up dramatically as the war on drugs escalated.

Four men face federal cocaine charges

Four people in Texas are facing drug charges after one law enforcement task force arrested them, accusing them of involvement in the cocaine trade. The four men were arrested while federal and local police agencies carried out search warrants in Amarillo. The task force is designed to target crime in specific areas of the city where police say that crime reports have significantly increased. The arrests were announced by a federal prosecutor, and the four men are being held in federal custody before their trial.

One of the men was accused of involvement in drug distribution. Police say that he allegedly sold cocaine to a person in May who was actually a confidential informant for the government. Three other men were arrested at their homes and accused of involvement with drug sales. All of them are facing charges of drug distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base or cocaine. Police said that they seized a loaded gun, cannabis and crack cocaine while carrying out the raids. The accused could face significant penalties, especially if any of the men have a prior criminal record. Many drug distribution charges carry mandatory minimum sentences.

Traffic stop in Texas leads to cocaine seizure

Texas police say that a tip from a concerned citizen led to the seizure of about 22 pounds of cocaine in Cameron County on the morning of June 11. Three Florida men are being held without bond in connection with the seized drugs. They have been charged with drug possession with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

Court records reveal that the Brownsville Police Department received a tip on June 10 about three men staying at a local motel. Officers from the department's Special Investigations Unit were assigned to the case and set up a surveillance operation in the motel's parking lot. The following day, the officers say that they observed two of the men get into a Toyota SUV at approximately 8:45 a.m. and drive away. The Toyota was pulled over about 30 minutes later on Pablo Kisel Boulevard after an officer allegedly observed it fail to signal before changing lanes on North Frontage Road.

Doctor accused of writing fraudulent opioid prescriptions

A doctor with several offices in Southwest Texas and his office manager were taken into custody by federal law enforcement on May 30 on drug trafficking, conspiracy, Medicare fraud, and identity theft charges. A 20-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury was unsealed by a U.S. District Court judge on May 31. A Val Verde County magistrate released the pair after they each posted a $50,000 bond. They face up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all of the charges against them.

The doctor is accused of prescribing opioid painkillers including fentanyl, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone to patients who had no medical need for the drugs after office visits that federal prosecutors referred to as perfunctory. He is also said to have left signed opioid prescriptions at his various offices for his assistants and nurses to fill out. The fraud counts were added because he allegedly billed Medicare for the appointments.

Could you secure a plea bargain for testimony or evidence?

Many people who commit crimes do so under the influence or direction of someone else. Organized crime can range from large-scale mafia operations in big cities to a small group of individuals picking pockets or stripping cars in a small town. All too often, it is the lowest level members of these organizations who get caught by law enforcement and face consequences.

In other words, the individuals who face the most risk often have the least control over these criminal activities. If you got caught by police and now have to face criminal charges related to the theft, illegal immigration, drug manufacturing or drug trafficking, plea bargains could play a role in your defense strategy.

Texas city official resigns after drug raid

The deputy city manager of a major Texas metropolitan area has resigned from his position according to media reports. The man tendered his resignation after Texas Rangers and investigators from the Drug Enforcement Division of the Wichita County District Attorney's Office allegedly discovered evidence of marijuana cultivation and undisclosed quantities of the drug when they searched his Wendover Street home on May 28.

Drug Enforcement Division investigators began to look into the man's activities after a confidential informant contacted them on April 15. The informant is said to have told them that man was a marijuana user and using his house to cultivate the drug. The informant allegedly did not believe that his information would be acted upon because the man held a senior administrative position in Wichita Falls.

Texas man sentenced to 20 years on drug charges

A 41-year-old Texas man was sentenced to 20 years in a federal prison on May 17 on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. The man was found guilty by a jury in December 2018. U.S. attorneys convinced the jury that the man was the financier of a drug distribution network and laundered the group's money through his luxury and exotic car dealerships in Houston.

Prosecutors say that the drugs were smuggled into the United States from Mexico and then distributed in cities across the country. The man is said to have laundered the money by taking large sums of cash from individuals he knew to be involved in the illegal narcotics business in exchange for luxury vehicles. He then fabricated invoices to hide the identities of the drug traffickers and dealers. According to court documents, he was involved in the scheme between 2013 and 2017.

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.

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