The Baltimore Sun is reporting several raids this week in the Northeast Four-by-Four neighborhood. Eight locations and 150 officers led to 10 people being indicted on federal drug charges. This area has apparently been overrun with drugs and violence over the past several years.
The raids included federal and local officials interested in cleaning up the neighborhood and the “clandestine operation” controlling the drug trade there. The alleged ringleader of the operation is said to have a violent past including several previous convictions for assault and drugs and being a suspect in four unsolved murder cases.
Weapons and drugs, officials say, were kept in the homes of neighbors and conspirators in the neighborhood and even around the homes. Although this investigation was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and has resulted in charges that will be addressed in federal court, the suspects could just as easily be facing state criminal charges.
A single charge of possession with intent to distribute a Schedule I drug like cocaine or heroin can result in up to 20 years in prison. If this isn’t your first offense, you will likely be mandated to spend a minimum of 2 years behind bars, regardless of the drug in question.
If the charge you are facing is a drug possession charge rather than a distribution charge, the penalties you may be up against are a little less severe. Posession of cocaine carries a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison.
If, however, this is your first charge there’s a good chance you won’t serve any time at all. Depending on the facts of the case, you may be eligible to serve probation instead. This is based on your criminal history, your charges, and the likelihood of you succeeding on probation.
The bottomline is, you don’t have to be involved in a gang or a huge drug operation to face serious charges. Charges like possession and even possession with intent to distribute can be levied even against recreational drug users. Knowing just how to handle these charges in a court of law, however, is the business of your attorney.
If you are facing drug charges and unsure of your options or what kind of time you may be facing, call me today. I can give you a free consultation on your case and provide some valuable legal advice.