Attorney J. Mark Sutton recently argued a federal case involving our client who was charged with drug crimes. Fighting hard to protect our client's rights and freedoms, Attorney Sutton successfully argued for a lesser sentence than was sought by the Government.
Operation Ice Dragon Defendants
Our client was one of over 30 defendants arrested in Operation Ice Dragon. The probe was led by the Greater Harrison Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The investigation began in 2017, with law enforcement officials seeking to combat an influx of crystal meth being circulated around Harris County.
The other defendants in the case were hit with hard sentences ranging from 6 to 10 years. A defendant sentenced around the same time as our client received 188 months in federal prison. The U.S. Attorney arguing the case pointed to the defendant's prior drug convictions, as well as his having over $25,000 in cash and a substantial amount of crystal meth on him.
That defendant argued that his drug addiction was to blame for his behavior. However, the judge hearing the case said that, although he wasn't the one who presided over the previous drug charge trials, he was sure the defendant was told about services provided by the government, as well as the consequences for not complying with the rules.
Our client did not blame his actions on drug addiction. Instead, he recognized his role in bringing drugs into West Virginia, hoping to make some money. Attorney Sutton was able to get our client's sentence reduced from 168 months to 148 months. One of the factors that contributed to the downward variance was that, as an adolescent, our client was in a prison that was recognized for having deplorable conditions.
Charges for Two Federal Drug Crimes
Our client was arrested in Mississippi in January of 2019 and was one of the last defendants apprehended as part of Operation Ice Dragon. He was named in two federal drug crimes counts: conspiracy to distribute meth and aiding and abetting in the distribution of meth within 1,000 feet of a playground. Allegedly, our client sold the substance for about $1,000.
According to reports, the laboratory-made crystal meth was shipped from California, Mississippi, and elsewhere into West Virginia. U.S. Attorney Bill Powell stated that there was a rise in the amount of the substance being distributed in the district, and the team tasked with investigating the matter would be aggressive in identifying those allegedly involved, whether they were from West Virginia or not. He also said that after individuals were apprehended, they would be prosecuted to the "fullest extent of the law."
Reach Out to Sutton & Janelle, PLLC for Effective Legal Counsel
If you have been accused of a state or federal crime in Berkeley County, seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. The State or Government harshly prosecutes these matters and will employ their significant resources to land a conviction. Our attorneys will be by your side throughout your case, taking the time to build an effective defense strategy and working toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.
To speak with a member of our team, call us at (304) 867-0049 or contact us online.