A three-month drug investigation has led to the arrest of eight North Carolina residents, according to Chatham County authorities. In addition to facing criminal charges, the defendants owe the North Carolina Department of Revenue over $17,000 in taxes for their alleged drug profits.

Media reports indicate the defendants were involved in a drug-sharing network that passed out opioid prescription pills among its members. It is estimated that the network shared up to 600 pills each month. During the investigation, authorities seized 887 prescription opiate pills, 224 Xanax pills and 8.5 grams of marijuana. They also confiscated $4,647 in cash and two vehicles.

The defendants, who range in age from 36 to 71, are facing a total of 127 charges. These charges include conspiracy to traffic opiates exceeding 28 grams by transportation, conspiracy to traffic opiates exceeding 28 grams by possession, possession with the intent to sell or deliver, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance.

Individuals facing drug trafficking and drug possession charges may be able to avoid conviction by contacting a Raleigh, North Carolina, Drug Charges Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer could represent a client’s interests throughout court proceedings and work to get the charges reduced or dismissed. For example, it may be possible to prove that the drugs belonged to another party, which could cause the charges to be dropped. Another strategy could be to argue that police conducted an unlawful search and seizure during the investigation, which could bar the evidence from being entered into evidence. In cases where the evidence is strong, a lawyer could negotiate a plea deal that allows the defendant to plead guilty to lesser charges.

Source: ABC 11, “8 arrests made in major Chatham County prescription opiate operation bust“, April 5, 2018