It is generally understood that being charged with drug crimes in California is a very serious matter. Defendants in drug cases could receive time in prison and hefty fines. But as steep as the penalties can be for those convicted of drug crimes on the state level, penalties for federal drug crimes can be significantly greater.
At present, two brothers who ran a pharmacy in West L.A. are facing the possibility of receiving sentences that total hundreds of years in federal prison. The brothers are accused of using their pharmacy as a front for selling black market steroids and prescription drugs.
A federal criminal indictment contains charges against the brothers for money laundering and drug trafficking. It is alleged that the brothers purchased and distributed large amounts of the prescription drug oxycodone. Yet, the federal authorities say that the pharmacy reported filling a very low volume of prescriptions.
According to federal prosecutors, the brothers made over $1.5 million in cash but reported to the IRS that their company was failing to generate a profit. The prosecutors claim that the brothers were able to afford a lavish lifestyle that included taking expensive trips and staying in luxury hotels.
Federal charges are often prosecuted zealously with an eye on serving defendants lengthy prison sentences and very steep fines. And this is done with the full support of the U.S. Government. If you are facing such challenging circumstances, it would likely be wise to consider seeking the advice and guidance of a California federal criminal defense attorney.
Taking on the government involves crafting an effective defense strategy. An attorney who understands the specifics of federal statutes may be able to help you receive your best possible outcome. Depending on the merits of your case, you may even be able to have the charges dismissed.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Two brothers accused of using West L.A. pharmacy as front for drug trafficking," Stephen Ceasar, Richard Winton, Oct. 1, 2015