Agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and local law enforcement agencies teamed up to arrest 17 persons last week for offenses includingdrug possession, drug trafficking and weapons charges. Possible sentences range from five years to life in prison.
Eleven of the defendants were arraigned in Federal court, and some face mandatory minimum sentences related to drug distribution, illegal firearm possession, firearms sales and violent crimes involving firearms.
ATF agents went undercover to make purchases of illegal firearms and other contraband items. During the raids, which were conducted throughout the San Fernando Valley, agents seized 30 weapons and silencers, as well as more than 18 pounds of methamphetamine. Authorities took 14 children who were found at the raided locations into protective custody.
Six of the arrested individuals were turned over to the State for potential prosecution on state charges. The investigation and raids did not target specific groups or gangs, but officials acknowledged that many of the arrested individuals may have ties to local gangs.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said that his priority was to remove dangerous individuals involved in weapons and drug trafficking. The individuals arrested in the sweep may have been involved in an uptick in violent, gang-related crimes in the Blythe, Langdon, Pacoima and San Fernando areas.
Federal Drug Possession Attorney
Increasingly, the federal government is becoming involved in drug and weapons prosecutions, often because of the legal tools available to federal prosecutors. It is becoming common for federal prosecutors to seek RICO convictions against gang members. These convictions could lead to long sentences, including life imprisonment for crimes found to have been committed in support of a criminal enterprise. If you’re facing federal criminal charges, you need the assistance of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense in both federal and state courts for more than 30 years.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your federal or Los Angeles County drug possession case.
Photo Credit: Theleom, via Flickr.com