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Drug charges do not negate the presumption of innocence

The drug battle in Louisiana continues to be a time-consuming and labor-intensive issue for law enforcement as they try to get a handle on the problem. One aspect of the crisis that is starting to get more media attention is the number of counterfeit pills being produced that are getting into consumer’s hands and possibly causing harm. A recent investigation has resulted in drug charges being brought against a 30-year-old gentleman from Baton Rouge.

A lengthy police investigation led to the arrest of the 30-year-old and 20 others who were charged in connection with what appeared to be a counterfeit pill ring. Those charged are believed to be responsible for the production of thousands of counterfeit pills made to resemble prescription pharmaceuticals. The pills reportedly contained undisclosed amounts of heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine.

In addition to drug charges, some of the 21 who were arrested are also facing charges of possessing illegal firearms and conspiracy. The 30-year-old reportedly pleaded guilty to being involved in the manufacture of the counterfeit pills. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to forfeit $20,000, a Porsche and weapons. He faces the possibility of a life sentence.

The drug crisis facing Louisiana continues to be a serious problem, and law enforcement officers deserve credit for carrying out investigations in an effort to rein in the crisis. However, a person in Louisiana facing drug charges is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law and has a constitutional right to a trial by a jury of his peers. There are procedures that must be followed by law enforcement officers in the execution of evidence gathering and suspect arrests, and a defense attorney can assist in ensuring that those procedures were appropriately followed.  

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