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13 charged in alleged meth distribution ring

Thirteen people were reportedly taken into custody in Florida after an undercover operation reportedly resulted in the seizure of 40 pounds of methamphetamine. According to the report, the alleged bust occurred on March 18 and involved multiple Polk County agencies.

The authorities began investigating the alleged ring in October 2013. After wiretapping a number of phones, they identified at least 20 people who were potentially involved. The drugs were allegedly being shipped in from California, though it was not known if the authorities were able to take the man who did the alleged shipping into custody. Authorities then allegedly intercepted a shipment of methamphetamine that had a street value of approximately $2 million.

One sheriff stated that this operation, which was named 'Hoodoo Voodoo,' was one of the largest operations that the Polk County Sheriff's Office had ever dealt with. In addition to the large amount of methamphetamine that was allegedly seized, authorities reportedly also recovered more than 100 firearms, a grenade launcher and a silencer. A semi-truck, seven other vehicles and bullet proof vests were also seized. Items were allegedly recovered from six houses.

In addition to the 13 people who were taken into custody, the authorities obtained warrants to take an additional 12 people into custody. Between all 25 people, 66 charges have been filed.

Those who are charged with drug possession or for intending to distribute face serious consequences if they are convicted, including a significant jail sentence. However, an attorney may be able to have the charges dismissed or the consequences reduced depending upon the case. For example, if there is evidence that the authorities did not have probable cause to investigate, evidence gathered from wiretapping may be inadmissible in court. Otherwise, the attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal that reduces the consequences of a conviction.

Source: The Ledger, "Polk Deputies Bust Organized Drug Ring, Seize 40 Pounds of Meth", Stephanie Allen, March 19, 2014

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