The Justice Department recently announced the arrests and indictments of three men who have been charged with trafficking crystal meth. The three men, who are Mexican nationals, conspired to distribute over 30 lbs of methamphetamine, according to federal prosecutors. The men are believed to have been part of an effort to move crystal meth from Atlanta to West Palm Beach. The men ended up delivering 30 lbs of crystal meth to an undercover officer instead.
The three men face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison if convicted. They could face a maximum of life in prison for the same charges.
Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking
The arrests are the result of initiatives started under then-President Trump to help cities manage organized crime. It is assumed that the majority of drug trafficking is done by RICO-eligible defendants. In this case, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) made the arrests on the three men. The OCDETF is described as a partnership between state, federal, and municipal police to identify, disrupt, and dismantle high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, and others who are involved on the business side of organized crime.
According to the Justice Department, the OCDETF helps local police identify priority targets who may be operating in their area. It’s stated aim is to facilitate joint operations between federal, state, and local law enforcement.
Federal Law and Mandatory Minimum Sentences
One of the issues in dealing with federal prosecutions is the mandatory minimum sentences that are imposed upon conviction. An offender who is caught for at least a second time trafficking drugs faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison with the possibility of ending up behind bars for the rest of their life. All three men are repeat offenders, and all three men face life sentences if convicted.
Mandatory minimum sentences are controversial. However, opposition to mandatory minimum sentences and drug-related prosecutions have not met with success. The government retains the right to determine sentencing guidelines so long as it leaves the judge with some discretion. In some cases, a judge may deviate from the mandatory minimum sentence if the defendant provides substantial assistance to the prosecution. Mostly, however, everyone’s hands are tied. A conviction will result in a mandatory minimum sentence defined under the law. In this case, that’s ten years.
Whether the federal government continues to reach out to local and state governments in the furtherance of drug prosecutions and organized crime is unknown. However, early efforts in major cities like Chicago have produced promising results with entire gangs facing prosecution thanks to the new efforts.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing federal charges, then you need a West Palm Beach criminal attorney who is capable of trying a case in federal court. Call The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to discuss your situation and allow us to begin building your defense today.