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28 individuals facing federal synthetic drug charges in St. Louis

Most St. Louis residents would agree that the punishment should fit the crime. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in the criminal justice system, as severe penalties can be threatened or imposed for a wide range of charges, some of which are much less severe than others.

This is often the case when it comes to federal charges of drug trafficking or drug conspiracy, where severe penalties apply even if a person was alleged to have played a relatively minor role in the allegations. For instance, a recent investigation by authorities resulted in the arrests of 28 individuals on federal drug trafficking charges.

The charges related to the recent boom in synthetic drugs, which are often not classified as controlled substances under federal laws, and may be sold at legitimate businesses like convenience stores and gas stations. Individuals arrested in the case were charged with drug conspiracy and money laundering, which carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison on each count. There are also potential fines of $500,000 to $1,000,000. In addition, the charges seek the forfeiture of certain assets and property.

Generally, each person's sentence may vary somewhat depending on the circumstances, and of course, on whether all are convicted in the first place. Typically, in a conspiracy case, the evidence may be stronger against certain individuals than others, and this plays a role in how the case proceeds.

Ultimately, the severe penalties are a major cause for concern for those involved in drug conspiracy cases. Individuals should take the charges very seriously, and examine what defenses they have to the charges and how to best present an effective criminal defense to the charges.

Source: Fay Observer, "Raeford man charged with insurance fraud," June 11, 2014

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Frank, Juengel & Radefeld,
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