North Carolina police have recently touted some large drug busts carried out in cooperation with federal authorities and local police forces. As a result, many people with even a peripheral connection to drug trafficking could face serious charges in court. These well-publicized raids and arrests may also aim to garner information about other people, leading to even more arrests and charges.

Joint drug busts lead to 18 federal convictions

The High Point police department announced that it had collaborated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a task force of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to carry out a number of drug raids and arrests. As a result, the 18 people charged in these cases faced federal criminal indictments and charges, rather than state-level charges. It’s often relatively easy to secure federal charges in drug cases, so long as authorities can show that the drugs were transported from one state to another.

Police announce escalated enforcement of drug cases

North Carolina police agencies say that the overdose crisis has led to higher investment in drug enforcement cases, including those linked to heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine. The 18 people arrested received a wide range of sentences, with some offenders receiving up to 15 years in federal prison and others receiving 16 months. Their sentences varied depending on the charges and whether or not the individuals involved had a prior criminal record.

The importance of prior felony convictions in setting a sentence underlines why a defendant may work to prevent a conviction and challenge police evidence. Some drug cases could involve police overstepping boundaries, carrying out unlawful searches or racially profiling defendants. Understanding your rights may help you to protect them in case you are faced with a drug arrest.