Authorities make 94 arrests following crack cocaine bust

If someone is accused of a state or a federal drug charge, understanding the charges and how the prosecution obtained the evidence is essential for building a successful defense. In Kansas, WIBW reported that on May 16, 2013 authorities arrested 94 people whom allegedly are connected to the drug raids that took place throughout the week.

According to WIBW's report, by using undercover agents, confidential informants and other forms of surveillance, a large law enforcement taskforce sought to identify individuals involved in distributing crack cocaine and their roles in the organization. The individuals mentioned in this report face a variety of charges, such as conspiracy to distribute cocaine, criminal use of a communication device and distribution/sale of cocaine. These charges fall under the serious drug distribution and trafficking laws.

Drug trafficking and distribution: An overview

In essence, laws that penalize the selling and transportation of controlled substances, like marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin as well as the illegal sale of prescription drugs like hydrocodone, are categorized as drug distribution or drug trafficking laws. If convicted for drug trafficking or distribution, the punishment varies according to the circumstances of a particular case. The most prominent factors include: what kind of drugs, the quantity of drugs, how wide of an area the drugs were distributed and if children were targeted. The charge of drug trafficking or distribution is a felony, and sentences range from three to five years in prison to a lifetime sentencing.

Some common defense strategies

Defense attorneys have a number of options available to them when defending their client against drug crimes. The defense either focuses on the drugs themselves, since that is the primary evidence, or the distribution of the drugs, which is a far more serious offense than mere possession. First, unlawful search and seizure is a common defense. Law enforcement must adhere to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution's guarantee that all citizens will only be subject to a lawful search and seizure prior to an arrest. Any drugs obtained by the police to be used as evidence must have been obtained legally in order to be used in court. For example, the police cannot simply pry open the trunk of a car with a crowbar without a warrant, reasonable suspicion or the owner's permission.

Another common defense is to contest the existence of the drugs themselves. The prosecution must prove that the substances the police seized were in fact controlled substances. This requires a carefully performed crime lab analysis. Moreover, the prosecution must also prove that the drugs belonged to the defendant.

Finally, especially when large operations are undertaken by law enforcement, like the case in Geary County involving the alleged crack cocaine ring, entrapment is a common defense. Law enforcement frequently relies on sting operations, but whenever undercover agents induce a suspect to commit a crime he or she otherwise would not have done, then entrapment may have occurred.

If you have been accused of a drug offense, it is advisable to consult a criminal defense attorney knowledgeable of drug crimes to secure adequate representation.