Drug crimes are among the most commonly investigated crimes in Ohio. These investigations are done by every department of law enforcement from local Columbus police to the State Highway Patrol to the BCI to even the DEA. While any drug investigation is taken seriously by all the departments involved, federal drug investigations are among the most aggressively pursued, and the most harshly prosecuted once the investigation is concluded.
If you are caught up in a federal drug investigation, you can quickly find yourself in over your head. Because of the many levels of law enforcement involved and the intense pressure on all parties to make an arrest, the resources, and energy spent on these drug investigations make it difficult for you to escape scot-free. Only with the help of an experienced Ohio federal drug crime lawyer will you be equipped to best rebut the evidence gathered during the investigation and fight the ensuing charges.
How Law Enforcement Collects Evidence in Federal Drug Cases
Federal drug investigators collect evidence about drug crimes with the intention of uncovering as many of the people involved with the drug operations as possible. Sometimes a single cartel or organization may be targeted. Other times, multiple stings will be conducted in a single area. No matter what, however, the goal of any drug investigation is to maximize the evidence collected—and thus the arrests that can be made.
Most federal drug charges stem from large-scale investigations, which means that evidence is collected in many ways. Undercover agents make contacts to identify drug operations and conduct stings. Federal agents and police can use search warrants and large-scale busts to identify drug rings. They also can pull over drivers who may be carrying illegal drugs. This physical evidence is then used to arrest those involved. Departments share this intelligence to widen the scope of the drug investigation and continue the cycle of evidence collection. Some of the people arrested early on may even be turned into confidential informants or cooperating witnesses, who will then provide further evidence against others in turn.
Confidential Informants in Drug Investigations
Because of the serious consequences of a conviction for a federal drug crime, many of those accused of relatively minor involvement will be tempted to become confidential informants for the feds. Confidential informants also called criminal informants or CIs, don’t just feed police with information they have about a drug operation. They also are responsible for collecting evidence against other people by wearing a wire or making controlled buys. These individuals become cooperating witnesses against any other subjects of the drug investigation.
These CIs can give devastating evidence against you, especially when police and DEA agents are looking to pursue federal drug conspiracy charges since even the most minimal involvement can land you in jail facing felony charges. Criminal informants can often help law enforcement make it very difficult for you to plead down to lesser charges due to strong evidence of your involvement, yet they may only end up with probation. If you are offered a chance to become a CI during a federal drug investigation, you must weigh the consequences of accepting or rejecting the offer carefully with the help of your Ohio federal drug crime lawyers.
How Do Federal Drug Investigations Get Resolved?
In the end, almost all federal drug investigations are only resolved after multiple people are arrested for federal drug crimes, whether in a joint indictment for a drug conspiracy or in individual separate indictments for crimes ranging from small sales to drug trafficking. Federal prosecutors will go to trial to prosecute some federal drug crimes, while others will be wrapped up through plea deals.
All of the evidence collected during the drug investigation will be used to pursue charges against as many individuals and groups as possible. These charges will be handed down by federal courts in Ohio. Then the same crimes will be judged there, as well. Only after law enforcement believes that they have gotten as much out of a federal drug investigation as possible will the investigation be wrapped up and resolved for good—allowing police at every level to move on to a new drug investigation.
What to Do If You Are Implicated
If you are implicated in a drug crime during any stage of a federal drug investigation, you are in a very serious situation. Federal drug crimes carry severe sentences, which means you could face serious prison time, not to mention millions of dollars in fines. That’s why it is so important to hire an excellent Ohio federal drug offense attorney to take on your case and work hard to fight the evidence against you.
Federal drug crimes require a specific skill set, which means that you need to find an attorney who you not only trust to keep your best interests in mind but also one who has experience on similar cases. At Luftman, Heck, and Associates, our Ohio federal drug crime lawyers have years of experience successfully getting our clients accused of federal drug crimes the best outcomes possible. When we are on your case, you will get the same dedicated, compassionate counsel and aggressive defense strategies.
If you are arrested for a federal drug crime, don’t say a word—even in your defense— until your attorney has arrived. Federal drug investigations lead to serious accusations and even more serious consequences. You don’t want to do anything that may jeopardize your case or your freedom. Call us right away at (614) 500-3836 for a free consultation on your case to learn how we may be able to help you fight the charges.
Being investigated on federal drug charges? Contact us.
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you’re probably wondering what your options are. The Ohio federal drug crime lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates have years of experience handling these types of cases and winning optimal outcomes for our clients. Call an Ohio federal drug crime lawyer today for a free consultation. To contact a criminal defense attorney, call us at (614) 500-3836 or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.