The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas has announced that nine individuals have been indicted on narcotics charges following a multi-agency investigation into drug distribution in Houston and Harris County. A federal grand jury returned the indictments on Aug. 13, but the information was kept under seal until Aug. 20. All of the suspects have been taken into custody according to media reports.
Drugs sold near high school
Three men have been charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine and prescription opioids. One of the men is a Houston area hip-hop star who uses the stage name Breadman. Six other individuals have been charged with providing the men with controlled prescription drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. According to U.S. attorneys, the three men routinely sold drugs within 1,000 feet of a Houston high school.
Suspects face decades in federal prison
The nine individuals who were indicted could spend decades in federal correctional facilities if they are convicted. Each of the drug distribution counts carries a maximum custodial sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10 million. Each of the prescription drug charges carries a possible prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million. During the investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was assisted by agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Houston Police Department and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Drug investigations and plea agreements
Individuals arrested during investigations like this one often choose to enter into plea agreements with U.S. attorneys in return for more lenient sentences. However, these plea offers tend to become less generous as federal prosecutors amass the evidence they need. This is why criminal defense attorneys with experience in cases involving drug crimes may advise suspects who are considering a plea agreement to act quickly.