It seems to be increasingly common to see drug busts involving large numbers of accused individuals. In these cases, many different legal issues arise that may increase the complexity of trying such individuals when compared with cases that involve only one or two defendants. There is also often a conflict of interest that prevents defendants from working together in their defense. In a recent police investigation that resulted in drug charges against at least 20 people, the East Central Narcotics Task Force in Connecticut confiscated cocaine, drug paraphernalia, oxycontin, marijuana and other drugs and cash.
Since so many defendants are involved in this particular sweep, the police will likely engage in further investigation. Several of the defendants are now facing multiple drug charges, including possession and sale of drugs. The vast majority of the defendants were adults, but at least one was a minor who was charged with possession and sale of marijuana.
At least one defendant was charged with running a drug factory. This unique charge gives him different legal issues from the other defendants. The defendant who was accused of running a drug factory was held on a higher bond than the other defendants, but it is not clear if the drug factory accusation is the reason for the higher bond.
When task force sweeps such as this one in Connecticut occur, search warrants may be involved. Here the use of search warrants was clearly a vital part of the investigation against the various defendants. It is important that defendants dealing with drug charges understand what search warrants are and whether officers have fully complied with and respected the limitations of the law in their own circumstances. It is also important for defendants to be aware of the law and any conflicts of interest that may arise from their respective cases.
Source: Manchester, CT Patch, "Narcotics Task Force Arrests 20 in Drug Sweep," David Moran, Dec. 21, 2012