Federal authorities in Southern California have been cracking down hard on drug trafficking crime. Federal agents often engage in long-term investigations in order to identify suspects and prosecute alleged crimes to the fullest extent of the law. While any federal drug charge can result in serious penalties, federal drug trafficking offenses can result in exceptionally long prison terms, in addition to massive financial penalties.
Authorities recently announced that at least 13 people were indicted and eight arrested following a federal investigation into a drug trafficking and distribution alliance between a Mexican drug cartel and California prison gang. Officials claim the members of the drug cartel received free reign to sell methamphetamine in the Southern California area in exchange for the drug cartel sending money and drugs to the prison gang.
Officials claim that the prison gang, known as the Mexican Mafia, controls the drug trade in California state prisons. The gang purportedly exercises significant control over the drug trafficking activities of many of the Latino street gangs in Southern California as well. The men indicted currently face a variety of criminal charges from drug trafficking and federal weapons offenses to accusations of fraud and extortion.
Certain illegal substances, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, are restricted under both federal and state statutes. While the penalties for drug crimes under state laws are certainly harsh, the consequence of a conviction for federal drug offenses are often significantly worse. Whether an individual is charged in the state or federal system, it is vital defendants consult with an experienced drug attorney immediately.
Source: Fox News, "13 indicted, 8 arrested in Calif. Drug cartel investigation," Aug. 7, 2013