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Los Angeles drug sweep results in 12 arrests

Twelve of the 14 people named in a federal indictment for drug charges were arrested in Los Angeles and Orange counties recently as part of a crackdown on alleged "marijuana stores" that may have put as much as 1 ton of marijuana on the streets. The stores are alleged to have produced millions of dollars in income for the individuals named as conspirators in the charges.

The man thought to be the mastermind of the operation also faces charges of tax evasion for failure to pay federal taxes and for giving instructions to an employee to destroy records that linked him to the money. The suspect is also facing charges of possession of weapon after being convicted of previous drug charges.

The scope of this case is very large, as is often the case in interdepartmental drug stings. Especially in the drug trade, authorities often use the tactic of allowing criminals to plead to lesser offenses in exchange for information about an alleged drug operation. This means that defendants may be encouraged to give information that leads to the conviction of others. A criminal defense attorney representing such a defendant must be aware of the introduction of questionable evidence obtained by "informants."

In order to defend him or herself adequately, it is important that the accused have access to sound legal advice and representation, especially when a defendant is facing years in prison and thousands or millions of dollars in restitution. A criminal defense lawyer can provide legal representation and advice so that a defendant is adequately protected during a criminal trial.

Source: The Examiner, "12 people involved in 9 illegal marijuana storefronts arrested," Joel Hendon, Oct. 27, 2012

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