Another significant drug bust was reported by state authorities in the statewide effort against drugs called ‘Operation Double Down’. The number of recent drug sweeps might indeed seem impressive in Louisiana if it wasn’t obvious that large numbers of drug charges keep happening, day after day and year after year, but drug crime does not subside. In this sweep, ten persons were arrested in the Marksville and Alexandria areas on numerous charges relating to cocaine and crack cocaine.
Officials seized over $60,000 in cash, five kilograms of powder cocaine, 350 grams of crack cocaine and several firearms. The charges include various counts of possession with intent to distribute, conspiracy, distribution and firearms violations. The time period of the offenses was from Jan. 2012 through March 2013. Those arrested ranged in age from 25 through 39.
In keeping with the steep sentences seen for decades in Louisiana and in the federal courts for drug charges, the penalties ranged from mandatory minimums of 10 years through life imprisonment. A U.S. Attorney praised the combined efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. A local police chief said that the operation would have a significant impact on the illegal drug trade in central Louisiana. Officials touted the effort as a model of cooperation between state, federal and local officials.
Arrests on drug charges continue apace in Louisiana as they have for many years. Whether there is a significant, measureable impact on drug usage or sales remains an unanswered question. However, the lessons of history show the persistence of these societal problems despite massive resources devoted to the so-called war on drugs. Some who work in this field have stated that drug crime will continue unabated until new and creative solutions are found to stop drug usage. For the time being, however, those who are arrested for drug charges will find it greatly beneficial to get a consultation with an experienced professional to see what defenses or alternative options may be available.
Source: dailyworld.com, “Ten arrested in alleged cocaine, crack distribution ring,” March 28, 2013