Four Maryland residents were indicted by a grand jury in federal court concerning claimed conspiring to commit bank robbery, transportation of stolen goods across state lines and illegal possession of firearms. It is asserted that this was all a part of a 16-person ring involved in various robberies and the trafficking of prescription drugs, cocaine and heroin.
The group was labeled by at least one Sheriff as being organized and "very dangerous." Authorities are now hoping that at least $3 million in cash, six or seven properties and a large number of vehicles will be forfeited as a result of these arrests. More than 21 locations were searched in the Maryland area concerning this alleged crime ring. A large number of state and federal agencies have also taken part in the investigation.
As the above circumstances indicate, anyone facing federal criminal charges may be looking at significant penalties. Besides the seizure of all of the property, everyone arrested could be facing years of imprisonment.
There are many things we need to keep in mind when reading about these sorts of circumstances. For one, an indictment by a grand jury does not indicate that someone has actually been convicted of a crime. Also, we don't know under what circumstances the searches took place or whether these searches were conducted in a legal manner. Finally, we have no way of knowing from newspaper accounts precisely what role, if any, that each person supposedly played in the reported ring.
Anyone convicted of federal drug charges would be best advised to find a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney. Conviction for these offenses will likely come at a price that most individuals could never afford, and therefore those arrested need to understand every legal option available to them before making a plea to any charge.
Source: Greene County Record, "Inquiry into local bank heist leads to major federal charges," July 24, 2013