A 35-year-old man, who is already facing 50 felony charges in state court for drug manufacturing and drug distribution, has been indicted on federal drug charges. The new allegations against the man from Antigo, Wisconsin, include drug possession and distribution of a controlled substance.
The suspect's arrest last year by state law enforcement officers resulted from an investigation into the activities of a drug ring operating in several Wisconsin counties. The state charges included manufacturing distributing marijuana and cocaine. The suspect was one of 15 people, including a school principal, who were charged in the state prosecution. At the time of his arraignment, state prosecutors identified the suspect as the head of the drug ring.
The federal indictment alleges that the Antigo man possessed 500 grams of cocaine and 50 kilograms of marijuana with intent to distribute. Court documents on the state charges allege that the suspect engaged in drug trafficking in Langlade County. If he is convicted of the charges contained in the indictment, the suspect could be sentenced to a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison.
Criminal defense attorneys are mindful of search and seizure issues that can arise in drug crime prosecutions. They know that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. Federal and state laws and court decisions impose restrictions on the methods used by law enforcement agents conducting searches with or without search warrants.
Defense challenges targeting the methods used to obtain the evidence in a drug case might have an impact on the ability of prosecutors to use the evidence in court. Depending upon the facts of a particular case, limiting the evidence might force prosecutors to reduce charges, agree to a more lenient sentence or agree to options such as a drug diversion program.
Source: WAOW, "Antigo man faces federal pot, cocaine charge", Robert Imrie, November 21, 2013