The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas announced on Aug. 26 that a man with alleged ties to the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang has been indicted on charges of possessing fentanyl with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm while a convicted felon. The 34-year-old Mathis resident was also once one of the 10 most wanted fugitives in Texas according to reports. The man was taken into custody during Operation Triple Beam, which is an ongoing multi-agency effort designed to combat gang activity in the gulf coast area.
Arrest leads to drug and weapons seizure
The man’s activities were investigated by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service. He was taken into custody on June 26. During a search conducted following the arrest, investigators claim to have discovered more than 350 grams of the opioid fentanyl and a loaded semiautomatic Glock pistol. U.S. attorneys say that the drugs were packaged in a way that indicated they were for sale. The man is prohibited from owning ammunition or firearms because he has a felony conviction on his record.
Man faces up to 50 years in a federal prison
The crimes the man has been indicted carry heavy penalties. The drug charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The gun charge could add up to 10 years to the man’s custodial sentence. U.S. attorneys say that the man is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 2.
Challenging the validity of police searches
Criminal suspects who are facing the prospect of spending decades in a federal prison sometimes confess to law enforcement because they believe their chances of being acquitted are slim. Experienced criminal law attorneys could suggest that they resist this urge. This is because judges sometimes exclude drugs or other items discovered during police searches even if the officers or agents involved obtained a legitimate search warrant. If you are charged with possessing or selling illegal drugs, an experienced defense attorney may recommend that you remain silent until they have had a chance to study the police report and assess the strength of the case against you.