Prosecutors have accused 14 people of bringing prescription pain pills into Ohio in order to sell the pills on the black market, bringing a number of criminal charges against them. Police say the group, headed by a 29-year-old ringleader, smuggled approximately $20,000 worth of pain medication to Ohio each week, obtaining the drugs from a pill mill in another state. Investigators claim the group trafficked the pain pills for at least the last two years.
The indictment against the suspects brings a number of charges against them, including racketeering, aggravated drug trafficking, conspiracy, engaging in a corrupt activity and funding a drug smuggling operation. Ohio punishes individuals convicted on such charges with severe penalties. Sentences for drug trafficking vary depending on the illicit substances in question.
An individual found guilty of trafficking a schedule I or II drug typically receives a sentence of between 6 and 18 months in prison, though this sentence can be extended depending on the amount of drugs involved and other details. For instance, trafficking near children is considered a more serious offense and carries a sentence of between one and five years with up to $10,000 in fines.
Ohio police arrested the suspects after conducting an extensive investigation, with which they received assistance from federal and out-of-state law-enforcement groups. At the conclusion of the investigation, officers executed several search warrants in which they reportedly discovered 900 pain pills, estimated to be worth about $27,000. Investigators also claim to have recovered a bullet-proof vest, 17 firearms and over $8,000 in cash from the suspects.
Individuals accused of drug offenses in Ohio should contact a qualified criminal defense attorney in order to avoid serious fines and prison sentences.
Source: Columbus Dispatch, "Franklin County grand jury indicts 14 on racketeering, drug charges," Theodore Decker, Nov. 26, 2012