In 2014, federal authorities discovered several tunnels that were used to get drugs from the Mexican side of the border into the United States. A 74-year-old California woman who was implicated in the operation of one of those underground passageways was recently sentenced in federal court in San Diego to five years of probation. Authorities apparently suspected her involvement in the drug trafficking operation, but she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money and was fined $1,500 for her role in leasing the property along with two men that she knew.
In California and elsewhere, when a street drug operation gets too conspicuous, it may attract unwanted attention and complaints to the local authorities about suspect activities. The police may respond by attempting to make repeated arrests for drug sales and other drug crimes in the reported area. This will tend to have a chilling effect on the suspected activities and may clean them up substantially.
In order to make an arrest, law enforcement officials must first establish that they have probable cause to detain an individual. When reviewing the circumstances surrounding an arrest, a person's criminal defense counsel will first determine whether probable cause existed. This could be an important part of one man's case since he now faces California drug charges that stem from an investigation into a theft at a retail store.
Authorities have reported one of the "larger" drug busts in recent history in connection with the recent arrest of four men and two women in Southern California. So far, the street value of the cocaine seized from this purported drug crime operation is allegedly worth over $35 million. It terms of wholesale value, it would be worth about $8.2 million.
Whenever there is a report of an arrest after police execute a search warrant for drug contraband at someone's home, the defendant's counsel will engage in a thorough investigation of the facts surrounding the issuing of the warrant. Where the search resulted in California drug charges against the individual being searched, counsel will also be particularly interested in how the search was conducted. It is improper for a search to go beyond the particular boundaries set forth on the face of the warrant.