Jury returns unanimous verdict in drug trial

Two men face possible life sentences after a South Carolina jury unanimously found them guilty of conspiring to distribute significant quantities of cocaine between January and November 2017 in the Myrtle Beach area. They were taken into custody shortly after North Myrtle Beach Police Department officers and federal agents discovered drugs and about $143,000 in cash in their hotel room.

Prosecutors say that the two men ran their drug operation from a luxury hotel room in North Myrtle Beach. According to court documents, cocaine worth more than $1,500,000 was distributed in the area after being stored in homes located in affluent suburban neighborhoods. The men are said to have used vehicles disguised as work trucks to move the drugs from place to place without arousing suspicion. Police say that the organization's unremarkable single-family homes contained armed criminals guarding drugs and drug money and their vehicles were driven by equally dangerous individuals.

The man are said to have used the money they earned selling drugs to party at exclusive nightclubs, take expensive trips and drive luxury automobiles. The remaining proceeds of the drug sales were sent by overnight mail to contacts along the Mexican border according to police reports. The two men have remained in custody, and prosecutors say that they will stay incarcerated until they complete their sentences.

The mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes can be severe, and U.S. attorneys rarely take narcotics cases to court unless their evidence is compelling. Criminal defense attorneys may bear this in mind and try to avoid court showdowns by resolving these types of cases at the negotiating table.

Source: WBTW, "2 Texas men convicted of trafficking cocaine through Myrtle Beach, facing possible life sentences", Staff report, Oct. 19, 2018

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