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Louisiana indictment names 14 in meth drug trafficking ring

Prosecutors sometimes take a one-size-fits-all attitude toward defendants. You read media reports about drug ring arrests, as if all parties were high-level players who trafficked illegal substances. Baton Rouge defendants' rights easily can be violated when multiple arrests stem from the same alleged crime.

A dozen people were arrested recently in what federal prosecutors described as a drug trafficking ring selling "significant quantities" of methamphetamine in Southwestern Louisiana. Two other individuals named in the 20-count federal grand jury indictment remained free and were being sought.

U.S. government prosecutors claimed the defendants were responsible for bringing unidentified quantities of meth across state lines from Texas. The major distribution points apparently were in New Iberia and Lafayette. Investigators from several agencies worked in Acadiana for over a year, before calling for the formal charges.

The defendants are accused of methamphetamine distribution over the course of several months this year. Drug agents also seized weapons, a pickup truck and cash totaling $5,400 during the investigation. Authorities stated meth manufacturing and trafficking had evolved into large-scale operations with intricate networks crossing state borders.

The defendants, ages 27 to 58, include men and women. All but one person named in the indictment are Louisiana residents from Erath, Scott, Youngsville and New Iberia.

Defendants may never need the guidance of a criminal defense attorney more than when they are charged with drug offenses, along with several other people. An attorney will assert your rights as an individual and protect you from unfounded allegations and subsequent consequences.

Charges against multiple defendants often result in one accused person cutting a deal with prosecutors. The defendant may testify against others to obtain favors like reduced charges or a case dismissal. Some frightened defendants might be tempted to manufacture the truth to avoid harsh punishments.

Attorneys are prepared to help you deal with co-defendants who "turn state's evidence" and other potential pitfalls.

Source: The Advocate, "Feds indict 14 in ‘meth ring’ distributing drugs to southwest Louisiana" Richard Burgess, Nov. 19, 2014

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