Kansas residents charged with federal drug crime
Federal prosecutors have arrested 25 Kansas residents in connection with an alleged marijuana distribution ring in Douglas and Johnson counties that reportedly operated from April 2008 through June 2012. Both federal and state law enforcement officers arrested the defendants, and now they have been charged in a single-count complaint.
Specifically, the 25 defendants are each charged with one federal drug crime of conspiracy to possess more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana with the intent to distribute the controlled substance. The case is currently under investigation by federal authorities and more details are expected to be released in about a month.
In certain situations, a purported violation of a drug law is investigated and prosecuted by government authorities in the state in which the alleged crime was committed, depending on the severity of the offense. For instance, if an individual is arrested with a small amount of marijuana intended for personal use, the case will most likely be heard in state court. But if a suspect is accused of handling a large amount of drugs or participating in the distribution or trafficking of drugs, they may be charged with a violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Under those circumstances the indictment comes under federal jurisdiction.
If a court convicts the 25 Kansas defendants of the drug charge, they may be sentenced to between 10 years and life in federal prison, as well as a fine of up to $10 million. It is clear from this case that federal drug charges are serious and they can result in significant penalties. However, every defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty by a court, and each has the right to a criminal defense attorney.