According to law enforcement authorities, a 17th defendant was sentenced for his role in a massive drug and gun ring that operated in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. The 51-year-old man was sentenced to 37 years in prison on April 24.
The drug sting operation, which was called Operation Riptide, was started in the fall of 2016 by the Norfolk Police Department, the Virginia State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. During the operation, law enforcement authorities discovered that more than 30 people in the area were selling heroin, other narcotics, and firearms.
During the drug and gun sting, law enforcement officers recovered 50 handguns, three assault rifles, and two sawed-off shotguns. Eighteen of the handguns were stolen or had obliterated serial numbers. They also recovered more than 337 grams of crack cocaine, 65 grams of cocaine, 175 grams of heroin, three pounds of marijuana, and two bullet-proof vests. Sixteen other people in the ring were previously convicted of a variety of weapons and drug offenses.
Convictions for some drug crimes can result in sentences to decades in prison and substantial fines. People who are facing allegations of drug offenses may want to retain experienced criminal defense lawyers, who may review the evidence that the state has against their clients and analyze it to determine the potential defenses that might be raised. The lawyers may then use the information that they have gathered in negotiations with the prosecutors who have been assigned to the cases. They might be able to secure plea offers to reduced charges or sentences that avoid prison time.
Source: WTKR, "Massive gun, drug sting results in 17 convictions, more than 100 years in prison", April 24, 2018