A 41-year-old man was indicted on six charges by a U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was originally taken into custody along with eight other people in Ocean City in 2016. The charges include conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, evidence tampering and witness tampering. He also faces charges related to the intent to distribute fentanyl that caused serious bodily injury and caused death to another person.
The investigation was carried out in part by the I-81 Human Trafficking Task Force. This is a coalition of local and federal law enforcement agencies designed to intervene in human trafficking cases. In addition to the I-81 HTTF, the DEA and Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force were involved in the sting that took the man and others into custody.
A drug charge could result in significant penalties for those who are convicted of them. In some cases, it may result in a person spending years or decades in prison. Other penalties may include fines, probation or community service. However, it may be possible for an individual to avoid some or all of those penalties. An attorney may be able to help create a defense to a drug charges.
For instance, those who are charged with drug crimes may assert that they were forced to commit them against their will. It may also be possible to assert that they were coerced by authorities into buying, possessing or selling drugs. An attorney might increase the odds of obtaining a plea or an acquittal by casting doubt on witness testimony or other evidence. This may be enough to either have a case thrown out or to get a jury to declare an individual not guilty of the charge.