Gwinnett County, just outside Atlanta Metro, has undertaken a huge effort of cracking down on drug cartels. This area seems to have attracted large drug rings because of its location and the ability to easily blend into the community. Recent arrests, however, have the courts experiencing a significant “trafficking jam” according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Just one of these cases has 71 defendants. The La Familia cartel, originating in Mexico, had connections and many of them within Gwinnett County. The raiding of one home this cartel was working out of resulted in the seizure of 174 pounds of meth alone.
The AJC also mentions a case of 25 defendants accused of smuggling cocaine and meth. Yet another of the large cases involves 35 defendants of an Asian ecstasy ring trafficking through Canada.
Each of these cases must be processed through the Superior Courts as it seems no one is willing to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors. A guilty plea, required in a plea bargain, means admitting responsibility and potentially offering information on codefendants. These large drug rings are notoriously vindictive, however, and loyal, so the likelihood of one defendant incriminating another is near unheard of.
Law enforcement and the district attorney’s office likely thought by arresting so many in the La Familia case they would get some people willing to cooperate or testify against their friends. District Attorney Danny Porter says, “What we’re finding with these Mexican cartel cases is they are not cooperating and they are demanding trials. They are afraid that La Familia still has their families in Mexico.”
Charges in all of these cases range from trafficking, to manufacturing, and even possession. A few women are said to have been sentenced to nearly a year in prison for staying in the house where the meth was made and stored, this despite having no criminal records and no actual drug trafficking involvement.
Serious drug charges can lead to serious sentences. From a few months to several years in prison, if you are charged with manufacturing, distributing, or even possession with intent to distribute, you will face felony charges. Georgia drug laws also have “mandatory minimum” sentences, meaning you will do prison time, no questions asked.
Whether you are facing serious drug charges like these of something as simple as marijuana possession, an aggressive defense attorney can make all the difference on your case. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.