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Four-month investigation results in multiple drug arrests

When law enforcement officers spend hundreds of dollars and hours on investigating a suspected drug ring, they may be more inclined to stack charges against as many people as possible. They are eager to show results and charge several people in the process. This can mean that it is not uncommon for a person to get dragged into drug possession charges for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Recently, a group of nine people were arrested in North Carolina and charged with several counts of marijuana possession, intent to sell and distribute, possession of cocaine, maintaining a vehicle for selling crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, among a host of other charges.

Police say that most of their information came from local informants in the area. They questioned people over the course of four months. The combination of citizen tips and confidential informants may mean that not all the information they received is accurate.

Not only could the information they received be unreliable, but in efforts to show results of four months of work, officers may trump up the charges. They may also charge people who have little or no involvement in the alleged drug activity to make the bust sound more notable. The Sheriff's Emergency Response Team, the Sheriff's Warrant Squad, the FBI, the SBI, and the North Carolina National Guard Counter Drug Task Force were all involved in the investigation. With so many groups and people involved in the investigation, it is also possible that certain procedures were not accurately carried out.

When a person is facing drug charges, it should be taken very seriously. Police often stack up charges against a person in the hope that he or she will plead guilty to at least one of them. Even in minor cases of drug possession, a person can face several misdemeanors that can result in jail time. Reducing or eliminating the damaging convictions may be possible with the help of an attorney.

Source: The Herald-Sun, "Sheriff's deputies arrest 9 after four-month drug investigation," Keith Upchurch, April 23, 2012

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