Six defendants in the Middle District of Alabama were convicted of conspiring to distribute powder cocaine and cocaine base. One defendant was additionally found guilty of money laundering. Evidence at trial showed a sophisticated drug trafficking conspiracy in which multiple kilograms of cocaine were put onto the street through a network of distributors. A four-month federal wiretap uncovered two drug trafficking cells that had joined forces to saturate Montgomery, Elmore, and Autauga counties with cocaine. In establishing the money laundering count, evidence showed that one defendant had at least $500,000 of illicit assets with a very limited legitimate income, allowing the jury to infer that his “wealth” came from illicit activity.
Some defendants face mandatory sentences of life imprisonment without parole due to prior convictions, while others face twenty-year mandatory minimum sentences under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The Court has yet to set a sentencing date. In addition to severe prison sentences, the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case vowed to seek the forfeiture of cash, personal property and any homes used as means to sell drugs.
“This case sends an undeniable message to drug dealers in the greater Montgomery area: your illegal activities are not welcomed here,” said DEA Resident Agent W. Marshall Simons. “The verdicts in this case represent the collective and symbolic voice of the fine citizenry in this community who have resolved to partner with us to take back their streets.”
Conspiracy to distribute powder cocaine and cocaine base is a separate and distinct count from the underlying offense of distribution of powder cocaine and cocaine base. In addition to proving the underlying distribution charge, the prosecution must show that the defendants agreed to commit the offense and intended to carry it out. A favorite among prosecutors, conspiracy charges can be especially difficult to defend against and carry additional sentencing. As noted above, in drug conspiracies prosecutors will often seek asset forfeiture along with stiff sentences, seizing anything remotely connected to the commission of the offense.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a federal drug offense or weapons offense, conspiracy, or money laundering, it must be your top priority to obtain the best legal representation possible. Available for pre-indictment as well as trial defense, the white collar criminal attorneys at Parkman & White, LLC boast decades of experience in criminal litigation, resulting in favorable outcomes for their clients more often than not. Call us today at 205-244-1920 for your free consultation, and let us put our experience to work for you.