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Nine detained in Texas on weapons, drug charges

Nine individuals in Texas were indicted in early July 2019 on alleged weapons and narcotics violations. The individuals were detained by police later in the same month. The indictments were the result of an investigation by the ATF Eastern District of Texas Violent Crime Task Force. The task force is a cooperation of the Paris Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and other law enforcement agencies.

Those detained were indicted on several charges, which included possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, domestic violence, possession of firearms, possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, carrying a firearm with the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and/or possession with the intention to distribute methamphetamine.

The ATF Eastern District of Texas Violent Crime Task Force was developed earlier in 2019 as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative. The program was developed to help reduce violent crimes by allowing federal, state and local law enforcement to work together. The Paris Police Department received a $100,000 federal grant as part of the project. The department plans to use the funding to buy surveillance tools to fight crime.

Federal crimes in Texas carry serious penalties, including fines, suspension of a driver's license, community service, mandatory drug rehabilitation treatment and/or jail time. Those who are suspected of committing a drug crime are entitled to fair representation under the law and guaranteed certain rights. In this case, the law enforcement officers must have obtained a warrant before searching for the drugs and weapons. If a warrant was not properly obtained, the evidence found may be inadmissible. A lawyer may be able to look into the case. If the evidence isn't admissible, there may not be enough proof to continue with the prosecution, and the charges may be reduced or dropped.

Source: KXII News 12, "9 Paris area residents indicted on federal drugs, weapons charges," July 23, 2019

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