Two men were sentenced on federal drug charges earlier this year for a drug distribution operation that crisscrossed the nation. The 136 kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of $13.6 million, was hidden in a load of strawberries and discovered after a routine traffic stop. In addition to the drugs, law enforcement personnel confiscated almost $300,000 in cash from one of the defendants. Several other men have pleaded guilty but have not yet been sentenced.
According to official documents, the federal government also plans to keep more money confiscated in the case, including almost $3 million seized in cash from several homes and apartments. Cash was also taken from some involved individuals and from a U.S. Post Office location. In addition, almost $300,000 was confiscated from five separate bank accounts at four different banks. The government also confiscated seven homes owned by one of the co-defendants along with at least 12 cars. In addition, it confiscated numerous luxury jewelry items such as Gucci and Rolex watches.
According to court paperwork, one of the men was arrested in Illinois in April 2011 when police found cocaine in his truck. He admitted to delivering the drugs between Los Angeles and Baltimore, where he met his boss for connections. He received $2,000 for every kilogram he delivered and agreed to a payment of $270,000 for the final delivery. Authorities had the defendant continue with the delivery while they watched. They arrested his boss and collected the $270,000 cash from him.
In a complicated federal case involving several states and numerous defendants, the representation of a criminal defense attorney can be crucial to help people charged with crimes not only keep their freedom but their assets.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Cocaine secreted in strawberries and a hefty take for the feds," Justin Fenton, Nov. 27, 2012