Authorities have leveled charges related to alleged narcotic trafficking offenses against 12 individuals in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Among the accused was the 55-year-old father of ex-NFL quarterback Michael Vick. News sources said that he and others were indicted for allegedly making plans to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin.
Law enforcement officials detained Vick's father the day after unsealing the grand jury indictment. While he was only charged with illegally using communication facilities, conspiring to launder money, possessing heroin for distribution purposes and conspiring to distribute a controlled substance, others also faced charges for a range of alleged illegal activities. These included the maintenance of criminal organizations and drug premises as well as the possession of firearms while trafficking heroin.
The accused included women as well. Reports said that the conspiracy was a large-scale operation that ran from 2014 to 2017.
When authorities accuse people of drug crimes, they may attempt to sweep up large groups at once in an effort to clean up the streets. This process can result in people who only had incidental contact with criminal behaviors, such as users who suffer from addiction, receiving serious charges that might cause them to spend significant amounts of time behind bars. In addition, indictments may use language like "conspiracy" or "communication facility" that make events like simply using the phone seem far more serious. Those who stand accused of these types of crimes may want to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that a strategy can be built to counter the allegations.
Source: WAVY, "Michael Vick's father among 12 indicted in Hampton Roads heroin distribution ring," June 21, 2017