One New York County recently arrested 19 individuals for what it reported as drug-related charges. It is also anticipated that others will be arrested soon as well.
The drug arrests took place as what the officers described as a "spring cleanup" of alleged drug dealers in the area. At least one individual had been charged with a class A-2 felony, which is described as the most serious charge for the type of violations alleged. The ages of the individuals arrested ranged from 46-years old down to 18-years old. At least nine of the individuals arrested were ages 19 or younger.
There is always concerns when such a large number of people are arrested for the formation of alleged drug rings. Assuming that such a ring even existed, even those reportedly only playing a minor role in the ring may still find themselves facing the same penalties as others. Also, a number of individuals may try to cut deals with prosecutors by testifying against others that have been arrested. The deals may result in the implication of individuals that are not guilty of any wrongdoing.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys do understand how such plea deals operate. These attorneys can take steps to limit the damage created by other testimony by making certain that only reliable evidence will be admitted in court.
Especially when dealing with young people who have their whole lives ahead of them, care must be taken to ensure that trials are conducted fairly. Every individual arrested has the right to have their case heard separately. No one should be found guilty or forced to serve time based upon guilt by association, or upon the testimony of others that have something to gain by seeing someone else convicted.
Source: Livingston County News, "22 arrested in 'spring cleanup' of drug dealers," by Howard W. Appell, May 16, 2013