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Authorities charge 14 people for allegedly transporting drugs

According to sources, California law enforcement authorities have charged 14 people in connection with an alleged scheme to transport drugs thoughout the country by bypassing airport security in Oakland. Reportedly, the alleged conspiracy occurred over a three-year period and involved baggage handlers and drug couriers.

Federal prosecutors indicated that baggage handlers would carry bags of drugs into the airport without being required to go through the security screening process. They then would allegedly take the drugs to the Southwest Airlines terminal where the bags would be handed off to couriers. The couriers would then allegedly carry the bags on to outgoing flights for distribution in other cities.

Court records indicate that the 14 have been charged with conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana as well as with possession with intent to distribute. Of the 14, nine were arraigned on the charges, and one was released on bond. Two others who were allegedly involved are currently serving prison sentences for other offenses, and three have not yet been taken into custody.

Drug charges can result in significant prison sentences as well as collateral consequences that can continue long after a sentence is completed. People who have felony drug convictions on their records often have difficulty with finding jobs, obtaining housing and securing loans long after their case has been closed. When a drug charge involves allegations of distribution, the consequences may additionally be much more severe than for simple possession charges. People who are facing such charges may want to discuss their situation with a criminal defense attorney, who might fully investigate the client's case in order to establish the best defense strategy.

Source: NBC News, "14 charged with transporting drugs through secure area at Oakland airport," William J. Gorta, May 18, 2015.

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