Grand jury investigation yields drug charges against 25 people

After a grand jury investigation, 25 people in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area have been charged with a litany of drug trafficking and other related charges. Authorities say that the central figure of the case was profiting to the tune of $2,000 to $3,000 a week from the operation. That man has been charged with multiple possession and intent-to-deliver charges involving cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana as well as corruption and firearms charges.

According to authorities, the operation extended onto college campuses in the area. Three people were charged with being involved in the sale of prescription pills at West Chester University, Cheney University and Temple University, respectively. Government officials say each of those people conducted sales of pills on-campus to undercover agents and/or confidential informants.

The 25 people charged range in age from 20 to 46. The case started as an investigation into cocaine sales by one police department in West Chester. However, the scope of the project ultimately grew to monitoring phone calls and surveilling people suspected of being part of the drug ring.

The charges against these people, particularly those identified as leaders of the operation, are severe and potential penalties would include long stretches of prison time. However, although these people have been charged with these crimes, they are not necessarily guilty. Depending on the circumstances, an attorney in such a situation could seek to have charges dropped or reduced depending on factors including cooperation with authorities. It seems likely that the circumstances of the recorded phone calls and other conversations will be up for debate in order to make sure that law enforcement officials did not overstep their bounds.

Source: CBS Philly, "25 People Facing Charges After Philadelphia Area Drug Ring Busted," Aug. 22, 2012

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