There were 17 individuals including a Maryland law enforcement officer accused of conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances. Though the officer allegedly may not have taken part in the conspiracy, she reportedly tipped off her brother regarding possible surveillance by other law enforcement officers. Therefore, the officer has been charged with interfering with an investigation.
The other individuals arrested for drug charges were from Maryland and other surrounding areas. Law enforcement officers also claim to be pursuing three other individuals said to be involved in the drug ring.
Whatever did take place, all of these individuals face the potential of long years of imprisonment and other penalties. Those claimed to have participated in the ring could face anywhere between five to 40 years of imprisonment. The officer accused of interfering with the investigation could face up to 20 years of jail time.
It's difficult to know how such an investigation started or if any of the so-called conspirators testified against each other. As happens in so many conspiracies, the prosecuting attorneys still need to show that any arrest was based upon reliable information.
It must also be kept in mind that we are dealing with federal prosecutors and agents as well since the purported drug ring operated across state lines. Federal prosecutors often will pursue cases more aggressively than will state authorities.
The penalties are too severe for those arrested to not try to gain the assistance of the best criminal defense attorneys. We need to make certain that any actual conviction is based upon reliable evidence.
Source: NBC Washington, "Prince George's Police Officer Among 16 Charged in Drug Conspiracy," July 17, 2013