Authorities believe the abuse of prescription painkillers has led to the increase in heroin use. This is due to the fact that heroin is cheaper and more readily available to get than painkillers.
With this increase in heroin use also come more police investigations into just where the heroin is coming from. In turn, this means more people can find themselves accused of being tied up in a drug ring and under investigation by authorities.
Recently, indictments were unsealed against 22 people who are accused of being involved in a conspiracy to sell heroin on an Indian reservation. The claim is the drug was coming in from other parts of the country to this one specific Indian reservation.
In looking at this case, authorities had reason to believe there was some sort of illegal activity going on involving heroin and started “Operation Winter’s End.” The operation was started back in March.
In addition to being accused of conspiring to sell heroin, the 22 are also accused of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
In looking at these charges, even though one might think that conspiracy charges are not as serious, the truth is that these 22 are facing the potential of life in prison without the chance of parole. For some, who are just in their late 20s and early 30s, this could mean the next 60 to 70 years behind bars.
Granted, when it comes to drug charges, not all are as serious as these ones. However, that being said, any types of drug charge should still be taken seriously as all have the potential to really impact a person’s life whether it is jail time or having to write down “yes” on employment applications for ever being convicted of a crime.
This is why those facing drug charges are encouraged to always contact a criminal defense attorney and not just try and face these charges alone.
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Federal officials charge 22 people with conspiracy to sell heroin, other drugs in ND oil patch,” Dave Kolpack, July 1, 2013