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Huge drug bust nets 24 suspects, suspected leader of drug ring

We all know how seriously police in California and throughout the country take drug crimes. Often police and federal agencies spend years investigating a group of people before they make any arrests. Once arrests are made, defendants could be facing years in prison on top of other penalties.

The war on drugs continues to develop on new fronts, and the latest major arrests took down the alleged leader of a drug ring that was based in Northern California. The recent West Coast drug bust, part of a drug trafficking collar by a cooperative task force including the FBI and a police department, was not aimed at trafficking of cocaine or marijuana but prescription drugs, particularly oxycodone, a popular pain killer.

In many cases, arrests begin at a much lower level than the "kingpin" of a major drug ring. Often street dealers are arrested before the head of the operation. Sometimes, in exchange for their testimony, these suspects are given plea agreements.

If you are arrested on any type of drug charge, it is very important that you know your rights. The police and district attorney must respect your rights and allow you to talk with legal counsel if you choose and avoid incriminating yourself. One of the most important and protective rights you have is the right to remain silent. You do not have to talk to police.

Another important right you have is the right to speak with an attorney. By exercising both of those rights, you can avoid incriminating yourself and begin to build a defense against the charges you are facing.

Source: West Seattle Herald "Prescription drug lord and 23 associates arrested from Seattle to California, including one West Seattleite," Ty Swenson, Aug. 28, 2012.

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