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Sex and drug trafficking ring leads to 18 arrests


Prohibited drugs such as cocaine, heroin and illegally obtained prescription drugs are known for their adverse effects on users. Because of this, law enforcement officials throughout New York State work hard to find those responsible for manufacturing, distributing and even using these drugs. Anyone caught selling or using drugs can be arrested on various drug charges that can have serious consequences if the person is convicted.

Eighteen people were arrested recently for their alleged involvement in a sex and drug trafficking ring, according to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. The arrests were made possible by a task force called Operation Out of Bounds that raises awareness about sex trafficking issues.

Schneiderman said 11 months of investigation were required before authorities managed to arrest the suspects, who were allegedly advertising a combination of drugs and sex that they called "party pack." Unlike the usual transactions that use cash, the illegal transactions mostly used credit cards for payments, totaling $3 million.

Only the organizers of the sex and drug trafficking ring were arrested. The prostitutes, who authorities believed were victims of exploitation, were not charged.

Suspects charged with felony drug crimes will face tougher fines and penalties compared to those who were charged with simple misdemeanors such as drug possession. A person can be charged with drug trafficking if police believe that he or she intended to sell or distribute drugs.

A strong defense is the best offense in any criminal case, but especially so in drug-related cases. A person who faces drug charges may want to engage the services of a legal professional who can navigate both state and federal courts.

Source: New York Times, "18 Charged with operating prostitution and drug ring," Mary Pilon, Jan. 30, 2014

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