When federal officials engage in a drug trafficking investigation, the catalogue of potential criminal charges that may eventually be brought can seem vast. Federal indictments often include multiple counts against one or more people. Drug trafficking charges may have conspiracy allegations tacked on. Similarly, other offenses may be included against one or more people depending upon the alleged facts.
A recent story in Missouri highlights how drug charges can have other types of allegations attached. Federal authorities announced the allegations involved in a federal indictment Thursday after the indictment was unsealed. The indictment was originally returned under seal last October by a grand jury in Jefferson City.
Officials accuse 10 people of seeking to distribute marijuana in Boone County from early February through March 2013. The volume of pot involved is fairly large. Federal officials claim that the conspiracy involved 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana.
In addition to 14 counts of conspiracy charges against all ten people, four defendants are charged with multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. One of the defendants is charged with an additional 12 counts of using a communications device to facilitate drug trafficking.
Five Columbia, Missouri, residents are named, along with Kansas City residents (one from each side of the state line), a resident of St. Louis, an Arizona resident and a person with an unknown address.
Notably, each person accused in a federal probe that involves multiple defendants has the right to a have an attorney to present a criminal defense. A case brought against multiple defendants may have complicated issues as each defendant jockeys for position in the face of criminal charges.
Source: Columbia Tribune, “Ten people accused in conspiracy to distribute marijuana,” Jan. 9, 2014