On March 8, the Norfolk Police Department announced the arrest of 44 people in connection with an alleged drug ring. The arrests were the culmination of an 8-month investigation by multiple Virginia and federal law enforcement agencies.
According to court documents, in August, a police informant told authorities that one of the defendants was picking up heroin in New York and transporting it to Virginia, where it was distributed through a network of dealers. Officers then tracked the man, who had an outstanding warrant, on a trip from New York to Virginia and arrested him when he reached Virginia Beach. He allegedly had 112 grams of heroin and $2,800 in cash in his possession when he was taken into custody.
The defendant, age 48, and four others are facing federal drug charges. The remaining 39 defendants are being charged by the state. As a result of the investigation, authorities seized 3 pounds of cocaine, 3 pounds of marijuana, 11 ounces of heroin, 9 grams of methamphetamine and 24 ecstasy pills, which have a combined estimated value of $190,000. Officers also seized $85,000 in cash and 12 firearms. The Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted with the investigation.
Individuals facing drug distribution charges may be able to avoid conviction by retaining a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. After reviewing the case, an attorney could work to establish a solid defense. For example, it may be possible to prove that police violated a defendant's rights during the search that led to the seizure of the drugs, which could result in the exclusion of evidence and potential dismissal of the charges.
Source: FOX News, "44 people charged in drugs, cash, guns crimes in Virginia", Lucia Suarez Sang, March 9, 2018