Three Northern Virginia residents are among the latest to be convicted by a federal jury for drug trafficking. It can be difficult to get a fair shake against the federal government, with its seemingly endless amount of resources.
The three men, ranging in age from 28 to 40 years old, are among the 55 people convicted as part of an investigation led by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force into an alleged Mexico-based drug-trafficking ring. Two of the men live in Woodbridge, Virginia, and the third in nearby Stafford.
When the men are sentenced on May 18, one of them will receive a sentence that carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison. The others each will receive a mandatory minimum of five years in prison with a maximum of 40 years. Federal prison sentences usually do not allow for parole, either.
Prosecutors used evidence that they said showed Northern Virginia residents received several packages of cocaine each month from Mexico. The drugs were parceled out in Prince William and Fairfax counties, allegedly via a network of drug runners, cocaine dealers and lieutenants in the operation.
The man who is set to receive the longest sentence was allegedly the local contact for the couriers carrying the cocaine from Mexico. The others were allegedly dealers charged with the distribution.
The case involving these men is part of the task force's "Operation Springfield Snow." Launched in November 2008, its purpose was to bring down the operations of the group that had taken root in Northern Virginia.
The task force investigation involved federal and local jurisdictions. Working together were the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Washington, D.C., office of the FBI, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, U.S. Marshals, and the police departments of Alexandria, Fairfax County and Prince William County.
Source: Fairfax News, "NoVa Men Convicted on Cocaine Trafficking Charges," Feb. 14, 2012