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.
This case highlights the exposure faced by those charged with federal drug crimes. In many cases, the suspects are under investigation by authorities for a prolonged period of time without being aware of the surveillance. Additionally, these types of cases often involve the testimony of other individuals involved in the illegal enterprise. This may be a peripherally involved co-conspirator or in some higher profile cases an undercover agent may be planted that is working for the government.
The government pushes hard on drug cases such as these in its attempts to provide safer communities, but it is sometimes done at the expense of a defendant's rights. Issues involving search and seizure, entrapment and wiretapping are often at play, and in many cases these could be enough to warrant a dismissal of the charges. This is why people who are in this type of a situation might find it advisable to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.