On June 22, 13 people appeared in a West Texas federal courthouse on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. The charges stem from raids conducted by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, Texas Department of Publish Safety and Brownfield police. Multiple locations in the cities of Lubbock, Terry County, Brownfield and Meadow were searched during the raids.
Prior to the raids, a federal grand jury indicted 21 individuals who were allegedly in connection with the drug trafficking conspiracy. One of these individuals was released, five of the individuals had been detained on charges earlier in the year and two were detained on a later date. At least one of the defendants gave consent to a search of a vehicle where drugs were allegedly found.
During the raids, troopers seized 5 pounds of hydroponic marijuana, 1 pound of cocaine, five firearms, a recreational vehicle and 12 additional vehicles. In addition to charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute drugs, the 13 individuals were charged with bulk cash smuggling and unlawful use of a communications facility.
Charges of possession and intent to distribute drugs rely primarily on the drug evidence seized during a raid or traffic stop. Without this evidence, there may not be enough to convict, and the case could be dropped. Search and seizures require either a warrant, probable cause in exigent circumstances or consent. In the aforementioned situation, a lawyer could look at the warrant. If the warrant wasn’t obtained prior to the raid or isn’t specific, the search and seizure may not be admissible in court. A lawyer could then contend that without the evidence, there isn’t enough to charge the defendants, and the case might be dropped.