Drug possession and sales can ruin lives and livelihoods, especially when charges result in harsh sentencing for accused offenders. Criminal activity involving narcotics in Washington state is receiving renewed attention from law enforcement that has landed more than three dozen in jail.
A month-long operation by the Seattle police netted 42 arrests of accused drug dealers. Law enforcement built cases against 60 suspects before the arrests, which include charges on possession of narcotics and intent to distribute.
The drugs seized in the operation include cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Much of the activity around the investigation came from neighborhood observations and complaints, which police credited as the source of the operation.
The area of the city targeted by the arrests is suspected for high drug-related activity because of the central location and high amount of foot traffic that brings potential buyers in.
Several cases will be tried in the county Drug Court, a Washington state judicial institution that focuses on preventing recidivism among nonviolent drug offenders. Other cases will be referred to traditional court.
An investigation may result in charges, but a case's movement through the legal system may show that evidence is questionable or a suspect was grouped into criminal activity without sufficient proof for a conviction.
People facing drug charges may be eligible for alternative sentencing, consideration of special circumstances or other ways of reducing punitive measures and put minor crimes behind them. The right legal counsel can help secure possible options for accused offenders and their possible sentences if found guilty.
Source: KING, "Police arrest 42 downtown open-air drug dealers," Bryce Newberry, July 05, 2017