Florida authorities have announced the arrest of 17 people in connection with an alleged drug ring in St. Lucie County. Two brothers, ages 33 and 34, were among those taken into custody.
According to the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department, the brothers were the main target of a months-long investigation. They are accused of supplying heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl to street-level dealers for distribution. Over the course of the investigation, detectives allegedly seized more than 1.5 pounds of fentanyl, over 6 ounces of heroin, 4 ounces of cocaine, a shotgun and an AR-15 rifle.
The 33-year-old brother was arrested in mid-May and charged with more than 50 crimes, including heroin possession, heroin distribution and the unlawful use of a two-way communication device, a charge which is often tied to the use of a cellphone to complete drug deals. The 34-year-old brother was arrested and charged with over a dozen crimes, including heroin possession, heroin distribution and the unlawful use of a two-way communication device. Others arrested as a result of the investigation include a 36-year-old Miami man and a 41-year-old Oakland Park man, who are each accused of supplying drugs to the ring. Many of those arrested have previous criminal records.
Drug crimes can lead to imprisonment, fines and a permanent criminal record. However, every defendant has the right to seek legal representation and vigorously fight charges in court. A criminal defense attorney could investigate the case and look for evidence that counters the prosecution's claims. If the evidence in a case is solid, an attorney may recommend negotiating a plea bargain that allows the defendant to plead guilty to less serious charges.