Seven individuals are accused of a number of criminal acts, including drug crimes, following drug busts in Illinois. The busts leading to drug charges took place as part of a police investigation known as Operation Lodi Dodi. The investigation started back in February.
When police were executing search warrants, they reportedly found a kilo of heroin with an estimated value of $80,000 to $100,000 on the street. In addition, they allegedly discovered cash totaling $250,000, along with several cars and four guns. Authorities arrested three individuals between the ages of 22 and 39 for conspiring to distribute heroin from May to Oct. 2017. Two of them also face heroin distribution charges.
Also, a 26-year-old woman has been charged with distributing heroin (three counts). Meanwhile, a 38-year-old man in a related criminal case has been charged with possessing a firearm as a felon. Two other individuals, ages 44 and 67, additionally face drug-related charges with regard to a separate case.
Those facing criminal charges, including drug charges, have the right to go to trial to aggressively challenge the formal accusations made against them. No conviction can occur unless prosecutors prove each and every element of the crimes charged in court and beyond a reasonable doubt -- a burden that is often challenging to meet. Alternatively, defendants may seek to negotiate plea agreements with the prosecution in an effort to obtain reduced charges and thus more lenient sentences. An attorney in Illinois will look for weaknesses in the prosecution's case in an effort to secure the most personally favorable outcome for the defendant considering the circumstances surrounding the case. Drug charges may even end up being dropped or important evidence barred from use at trial if police executed their searches in violation of a defendant's legal rights, for example.
Source: wifr.com, "Seven face federal drug charges in Rockford-area busts", Nov. 3, 2017