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Foreign officials will receive federal drug charges

A recent report may be of interest to California residents. Federal prosecutors in New York are reportedly getting ready to charge two high-ranking Venezuela officials with trafficking drugs from that country into the United States. The federal prosecutors intend to charge two generals. One of the targets is the head of the Venezuelan National Guard, while the other serves as a general within that organization.

The pending charges are expected to be announced by the end of December. They reportedly stem from a long-term investigation into drug trafficking organized by Venezuelan military officials to help bring drugs from the country into the U.S.

The investigation encompassed members of the top levels of government under Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. In November 2015, two of the First Lady's nephews were charged with the planned transportation of 800 kilograms of cocaine. When reached, the Venezuelan government declined comment about either the nephews or the generals and their pending drug matters.

Drug offenses bring potentially severe sentences, but when the charges involve allegations of drug trafficking, the potential penalties are especially serious. People who are convicted of trafficking drugs may face extremely long prison sentences in addition to substantial fines. Those who are facing any level of drug charge may want to seek help from a criminal defense attorney as soon after they have been charged as possible. An attorney who has an earlier start to a case may be better able to track down favorable witnesses and evidence that might later disappear. An attorney may also help the client assert constitutional challenges to the manner in which the prosecution's evidence was gathered.

Source: FOX News, "US to charge Venezuelan military officials with cocaine trafficking," Dec. 16, 2015.

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