On Feb. 5, federal and local authorities announced the arrest and indictment of seven individuals suspected of drug trafficking. The announcement was made in Tyler.
According to media reports, a multi-agency law enforcement task force started investigating an alleged methamphetamine trafficking operation in Upshur County in 2017. Over the course of the investigation, agents were able to obtain video and audio evidence of undercover officers buying meth from the defendants. As a result of this evidence, the agents obtained search and arrest warrants and seized an unspecified amount of methamphetamine and firearms.
Seven male defendants, ranging in age from 32 to 53, were taken into custody. They are all residents of Gilmer. Each defendant is facing a charge of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Three defendants are additionally charged with weapons violations, including use, carrying and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and felon in possession of a firearm. Six of the seven defendants have previous convictions for drug crimes. If convicted, they could each face between five and 40 years in prison.
Federal drug crime convictions often carry severe penalties, including years in prison, steep fines and the seizure of personal property. In order to fight federal drug charges, it may be prudent to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney could review the evidence and develop a defense to the prosecution's claims. In some cases, this defense could be used to get the charges dismissed or win an acquittal at trial. In other circumstances, it could be used in negotiations for a plea deal that lessens the charges and penalties.
Source: East Texas Matters, "U.S. Attorney, DEA, ATF, East Texas officials arrest, indict 7 in meth ring", Christa Wood, Feb. 5, 2019