Drug trafficking is among the most lucrative crimes in the world. As our country is in the midst of an ongoing opioid crisis, it’s estimated that more than 115 people die from an overdose every day sand that drug trafficking cost the nation more than $78 billion annually. We’ve reached the point in the epidemic where it’s practically impossible to go a single day without reading at least one headline about a high profile drug trafficking case.
With so much activity happening in drug trafficking arrests, it can be difficult to keep up on the stories that really matter. Here are few that have recently caught our eye as being among the most newsworthy.
Connecticut Gang Enforcer Gets 18 Years
Luis Padilla, also as known as Chewie by fellow members of a Connecticut Bloods street gang known as the Red Side Guerilla Brims, was recently sentenced to 18 years in federal prison along with 5 years of supervised release on drug trafficking charges.
According to reports, Luis Padilla was a member of the gang who took part in illegal activities including robberies and shootings, but also served as the main enforcer of the gang’s drug trafficking operation. What makes Padilla’s sentencing so notable is that he is the last of 21 members and associates of the Red Side Guerilla Brims to receive a sentence in a series of crimes dating back to 2009 – including the gang leader, Jeffrey Benton, who had previously been sentenced to more than 40 years on drug trafficking, money laundering, federal racketeering and murder chargers.
Major Player in Utah Drug Trafficking Operation Charged
Samuel Soto-Campos of Utah was recently charged by the state’s Attorney General’s Office with 3 counts of drug distribution. The charges follow a two year long investigation by the DEA and a local narcotics task force. The investigation brought forth sufficient evidence that Soto-Campos had been involved in the distribution of large amounts of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.
Soto-Campos had been using his auto repair business as the point of transaction for his drug trafficking operation. He would instruct clients and suppliers where to find or leave specific quantities of narcotics. They would then come to his shop and complete the transaction. On separate occasions, investigators found $64,000 located in a hidden compartment of one vehicle and 5 kilos of cocaine plus a pound of heroin in another that he was driving at the time.
Prosecutors have asked that bail be set at a higher than usual amount due to the fact that Soto-Campos had been operating his high level drug trafficking operation for several years and presented a high flight risk.
Dozens of Suspects Facing Drug and Firearms Charges
Law enforcement officials are charging at least 31 individuals across several states on 53 counts of criminal acts that include federal drug charges and money laundering. According to reports, the organization was responsible for distributing hundreds of pounds of methamphetamines across central Arkansas.
Current arrests in the operation include four individuals in California and 19 in Arkansas. This is in addition to a number of defendants who were already in state or federal custody and 8 defendants that are currently fugitives.
The investigation that spanned nearly 2 years uncovered the possession and distribution of large amounts of methamphetamines, marijuana and firearms transactions. Currently, trials are set to begin in the case this coming October.
Contact Us if You’re Accused of a Drug Charge
As criminal defense attorneys, it’s our responsibility to keep up on what’s happening in the world of drug trafficking and criminal law. If you’re facing drug trafficking charges, Elden Law has the experienced legal team that can help. We offer free consultations, so contact us today!