Charles L. Truncale
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Authorities bust 18 suspects for allegedly running drug ring

Florida authorities have arrested 18 people for suspicion of drug distribution in the Palm Bay area. The latest arrest took place on Aug. 12 and involved a 29-year-old Indialantic man.

According to the Palm Bay Sheriff's Department, deputies arrested the defendant for alleged heroin trafficking after he was identified during a months-long wiretap investigation that led to the arrest of 17 other defendants in May. The wiretaps were monitoring conversations between suspected drug dealers. The alleged ringleader of the operation, a 35-year-old man, was arrested and charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder. He was also charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking, conspiracy and racketeering. The murder charge stems from a plot to intimidate rival drug dealers.

On May 9, deputies raided the ringleader's home and allegedly uncovered 2 kilograms of heroin, 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, 1 kilogram of cocaine, eight firearms and $50,000 in cash. Court documents listed the 29-year-old defendant as a co-conspirator of the ringleader. He was charged after wiretaps allegedly recorded him arranging to buy 5 grams of heroin from a third defendant. That defendant, a 33-year-old Palm Bay resident, was charged with drug conspiracy and racketeering in May.

Defendants charged with drug crimes may feel defeated. However, no drug defendant has to face the legal system on their own. A criminal defense attorney could review the charges and make sure a client understands their defense options. The attorney could also challenge the prosecution's evidence, cross-examine witnesses and work to get the charges dismissed. If the evidence is solid, legal counsel could attempt to get the charges reduced by negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors.

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