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Southern California drug bust detains multiple individuals

Multiple law enforcement agencies worked together to target a San Diego-area drug ring that forged stolen prescriptions for promethazine with codeine cough syrup. As a result of the operation, 20 individuals were taken into custody. Among the people detained during "Operation Purple Haze," 18 have reportedly pleaded guilty to charges that include prescription fraud and burglary.

Comprised in part by promethazine and codeine, cough syrup is a controlled pharmaceutical drug that serves as a central nervous system depressant. According to authorities, the substance is popular with teens and young adults and is frequently mixed with soft drinks and referred to as "sizzurp" or "drank."

Authorities said that "Operation Purple Haze" agents, some of whom work for the Drug Enforcement Administration and California Department of Health Care Services, identified dozens of stolen prescriptions, which were filled at pharmacies in San Diego's South Bay and southeastern neighborhoods. According to authorities, the majority of the prescriptions were filled by people between the ages of 18 and 24.

In addition to incarceration, fines and probation, a conviction on drug charges may result in a criminal record that could adversely affect an individual's future job prospects and professional reputation. A lawyer may assist individuals facing drug charges in developing a defense. For instance, a lawyer could review police reports and warrants to ensure that officers adhered to proper protocol. Alternatively, by arranging for a plea bargain, a lawyer might be able to mitigate some of the penalties associated with the charges or possibly have a defendant's sentence reduced.

Source: CBS 8, ""Operation Purple Haze" nets 20 arrests for prescription fraud", September 26, 2014

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