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California men charged for federal drug trafficking offenses

Federal investigations have resulted in two separate cases in the same county involving drug charges. Multiple California men are facing charges for federal crimes involving significant quantities of controlled substances.

In the first case, two men from Mexico were recently indicted on charges of conspiring to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. The two men were also charged with three additional counts of possession with the intent to distribute. The two men face charges for separate federal offenses, including being a deported alien found in the U.S. after conviction of a felony and possessing unlawful immigration documents.

In the second case, a 52-year-old California man was charged with conspiracy and actively cultivating, distributing and possessing marijuana with the intent to sell. According to the federal investigation, the man owned a 29-acre plot of land where agents seized over 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana and over 300 marijuana plants. Federal agents also seized scales, packing material, firearm ammunition and thousands of dollars in cash.

Due to the size of both operations and the allegations the men are facing, it is vital that they work with their defense attorneys and the federal prosecutors to broker a deal. Penalties for federal crimes can vary dramatically. Some factors prosecutors consider when charging a federal drug crime include the type of illegal substance, the amount of the drug, the age of the person being charged, whether there was intent to distribute or sell the drug and the presence of prior convictions. While it is not always possible to win an innocent verdict, a good defense attorney can always work to reach an amicable plea agreement with a lighter sentence. While this may not be ideal, in some cases a good deal can mean the difference between life in prison and a few years.

Source: 23 ABC, "DOJ: Kern County drug traffickers indicted," Feb. 1, 2013

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