Police arrest 17 in Operation Shape Up

A drug investigation that began in November, 2012 has culminated in the arrest of 17 people in Pennsylvania. The men and women were each given a bond of either $1 million or $500,000. The alleged leader of the operation faces multiple drug charges, including criminal use of a communication facility, criminal conspiracy to deliver marijuana and cocaine, two counts of corrupt organizations, two counts of delivery of marijuana and cocaine and two counts of possession with the intent to deliver marijuana and cocaine.

Authorities called the investigation "Operation Shape-up" because the alleged drug dealers used a barbershop where one of them worked as a hub for trafficking marijuana and cocaine. According to the report, low-level dealers would place orders by contacting the barbershop employee and asking for a shape up.

The attorney general reports that over the course of the investigation, this group of people may have been responsible for trafficking up to 200 pounds of marijuana and 20 kilos of cocaine. The combined street value of the drugs is estimated to be $2,600,000.

Everyone who is accused of a criminal offense has the right to be represented by an attorney. One of the first tasks of an attorney is to attempt to get the defendant's bail reduced to a reasonable amount so they can prepare their defense. Another way an attorney may help someone accused of serious drug crimes is to review all of the evidence and present a plea bargain to the prosecuting attorney. While many criminal cases are resolved through plea agreements, criminal lawyers are prepared to take drug cases such as this one to trial.

Source: ABC Local, "17 arrested in Northeast Pennsylvania drug case", July 01, 2013

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