A year-long federal drug investigation into an international drug ring came to a head in North Austin on March 28. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, 18 people were taken into custody at an auto body shop near North Lamar Boulevard in North Austin. The arrest was made by a broad partnership of state and federal entities including the DEA and the Austin Police Department.
According to the U.S. attorney's office, the drug ring was involved in trafficking cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. In total, 18 people were arrested charged in connection with the smuggling ring that reportedly helped drugs enter the country through Mexico before being distributed throughout the United States.
Court records show a federal grand jury indicted the 18 accused people on March 28 and 10 other individuals already in custody with charges of a criminal drug conspiracy. Each defendant faces four counts of conspiracy with the underlying crimes including distributing cocaine, distributing heroin, distributing methamphetamine and money laundering. The conspiracy centered around using the North Austin auto body shop as a distribution center to ship drugs throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas and several other states. In addition to the arrests, sources say that a large amount of illegal drugs and over $400,000 in cash were seized during the raid.
An individual facing drug crime charges is at risk of receiving serious punishment. A attorney with experience in criminal law may be able to help that individual navigate the criminal justice system. The attorney may rely on knowledge of local sentencing guidelines to negotiate a fair plea bargain. If a plea bargain isn't in the individual's best interest, an attorney might help defend that individual in front of a court of law.