A joint federal and local probe produced 17 defendants in connection with a drug trafficking ring responsible for putting heroin and cocaine on the streets of Chicago. The defendants will face federal charges and be charged in federal court. According to the press release, the operation remained ongoing for years prior to making these arrests. Federal agents announced the seizure of multiple kilos of cocaine and heroin in several Chicago neighborhoods. The effort had contributions from Chicago P.D. and the Department of Homeland Security. The measure produced 17 defendants who are facing federal charges and two more who are facing state charges.
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces
The OCDEF is a multi-agency effort to attack cartels and gangs that distribute narcotics on the streets. Its efforts targeted international drug trafficking and were led by prosecutors to help build cases against those involved in the drug trade. According to the Justice Department, it is the largest transnational anti-crime task force in the country. The agency has 500 federal prosecutors, 1,200 federal agents, and 5,000 local and state police.
Arresting the suspects
According to federal authorities, they caught Jorge Valdez with 14 kilos of cocaine that he had recently purchased from another man. Police found the kilos hidden behind the car’s stereo system. The drugs were earmarked for distribution in smaller quantities throughout Chicago neighborhoods. Police were able to arrange a sting in which a cooperating buyer and an undercover officer purchased large quantities of narcotics from the target.
All-in-all, police set up one sting after another to record evidence against those who are involved in this prosecution. Once they had enough recorded evidence, they announced charges and began the process of arresting those involved in the sting.
Sting Operations and Potential Defenses
Surveillance and sting operations are among the most successful methods employed by law enforcement to convict those accused of crimes. Often, straw buyers are sent by the government to ensure that there is some record of the transaction that the prosecutors can point to as factual evidence. When these operations are guided by prosecutors, the prosecutors know what evidence can and cannot be used in court and the proper way to gather that evidence. Hence, the value of prosecutor-led investigations.
Unless there was some procedural error, an inconsistency with a warrant, or entrapment (which is exceedingly rare), then the evidence gathered will be produced in court and at trial.
Prosecutors like surveillance and sting operations because they can easily reproduce this evidence for the jury. In fact, the ability to reproduce the evidence without relying purely on testimony often leverages defendants into prosecutor-friendly plea deals.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are charged in connection with a drug crime, you want to get out ahead of the accusations immediately. Call Chicago criminal defense attorney David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment and we can begin preparing your defense.