Over 20 people suspected of dealing drugs in the western part of Pennsylvania
were recently arrested and charged. The
drug charges were filed after police investigated the matter for 18 months. The criminal
charges were associated with more than 40 separate incidents, authorities reported.
A majority of the individuals were reportedly discovered with help from
confidential informants' reports to police of criminal activity that
was taking place. Police gave the informants money to buy drugs under
the surveillance of the authorities. The purported drugs that were bought
were then turned over to authorities for use as evidence.
All of the arrests took place at one time so that the informants' identities
would not be revealed or the ongoing investigations wouldn't be compromised.
Most charges were related to heroin, which recently replaced cocaine as
a choice drug in the area in which the arrests took place. Other charges
dealt with cocaine and marijuana. The arrested individuals, who range
in age from 19 to 43, included claimed dealers at the street level who
likely receive supplies from bigger markets. Their charges include possession
of and intention to deliver a drug as well unlawfully delivering a drug.
Those facing drug charges in Pennsylvania are presumed innocent until and
unless they are proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal court.
Individual defendants may have the chance to strike a plea deal with prosecutors
or instead, could choose to go to court and force prosecutors to actually
prove the criminal accusations by competent and relevant evidence. One
focus of the criminal defense is to safeguard the defendant's rights
during the entire legal proceedings.
Source: triblive.com, "20 charged in Western Pennsylvania drug crackdown", Jacob Tierney, Nov. 19, 2014