A federal judge recently sentenced a man to 235 months in prison for operating a methamphetamine ring out of a southwest Virginia prison. The 31-year-old defendant is a resident of Georgia.
According to court documents, the defendant was serving time in a Virginia prison on a separate meth-related conviction when he launched a meth trafficking ring out of the facility. He reportedly confessed to conspiring with five other people to transport meth from Georgia to Virginia in order to distribute it to local consumers. The drug ring was in operation for more than a year.
The defendant pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Three other defendants in the case, two 30-year-old Georgia women and a 39-year-old Virginia man, are currently awaiting sentencing for their roles in the drug ring.
Federal drug charges can lead to severe consequences for defendants who are convicted. For example, it is common for defendants to be sentenced to decades in federal prison, assessed thousands of dollars in fines and forced to forfeit valuable assets. In addition, once they are released from prison, they will be left with a permanent criminal record. However, not everyone who is charged with a drug crime is convicted.
A criminal defense attorney may represent a defendant in court and attempt to develop a strong defense against the accusations. For example, some defendants get charged because they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others are arrested after police perform an improper search and seizure. In these types of situations, it might be possible to get the charges dismissed. Another possibility may be for the attorney negotiate a plea deal that reduces the charges and penalties.