According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, law enforcement agents seized 80 kilograms of cocaine from a Dayton used car dealer. Law enforcement agents arrested three men on federal drug trafficking charges. One of the men co-owns the used car dealership in Dayton.

Several law enforcement agencies were involved or assisted in the investigation. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents and Cincinnati police officers were investigating cocaine trafficking in Cincinnati. A suspect traveled to Dayton to purchase cocaine. 

The suspect purchased the cocaine from two individuals at Luxury Sports Auto Sales in Dayton. While executing a federal search warrant, investigators seized almost 80 grams of cocaine from Luxury Sports Auto Sales. They also searched the home of one suspect and found a firearm, more cocaine, and cash.

Shannon Jamar Higgins, Sr. from Cincinnati pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. David Scott and Jerry Timothy Vaughn, Jr., both of Dayton, were charged with several drug crimes. They are both charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, narcotics conspiracy, and distribution of a controlled substance.

The suspects face substantial prison time if they are convicted on the drug charges. 

Distribution of a controlled substance carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. A conviction on charges of possession with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine is punishable by ten years to life in prison. Charges of possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and narcotics conspiracy both carry prison sentences of five to 40 years.

Drug Charges in Dayton Include State and Federal Crimes

Drug crimes fall under both state and federal laws. You may be charged with violating state law for various drug offenses. However, you could also face federal drug charges.

Even though double jeopardy prevents you from being tried twice for the same crime, double jeopardy does not apply in some drug cases. You could be acquitted of a drug crime in state court, but arrested and tried for the same crime in federal court. State and federal courts have different jurisdictions, so the double jeopardy rules do not prevent you from being tried in both courts.

Defendants who are tried and convicted of drug crimes in federal court could face substantial prison terms. Ohio drug laws are severe, but the federal sentencing guidelines for convictions can be even more severe.

You Could Be Under Investigation for Weeks or Months?

As with the above case, the suspects were under investigation for some time before they were charged with a crime. The federal indictment was under seal. The indictment was not unsealed until after the arrest.

Therefore, you could be under investigation of a drug crime for several weeks or months. If state or federal law enforcement agencies believe that they can target other individuals or a large drug ring, they could place you under surveillance. Law enforcement officers could monitor your activities and even your conversations for some time.

As the investigation continues, evidence is gathered to use for an arrest warrant and conviction. Other suspects are identified. In some cases, a law enforcement agency may make “deals” with some suspects to obtain additional information and evidence against other individuals.

Most individuals are unaware that they are under investigation on drug charges. If you become aware that you might be the target of a drug investigation, contact a drug defense attorney immediately. An attorney can help you determine your next steps.

Being Charged With a Drug Crime in Dayton

If you are charged with a drug crime in Dayton, do not assume that it is a minor criminal charge. Even though some drug crimes may not result in jail time, aggravating circumstances or additional charges could impact the sentence. 

Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are focused on obtaining more information and evidence they can use in court. Police officers can and do lie to suspects. It is in your best interest not to cooperate with the investigation.

Do not resist arrest or argue with police officers. However, do not answer questions or make a statement until you talk to a drug defense lawyer. Anything you say to the police officers or the prosecutor can be used against you in court.

Because of television shows and movies, many people are confused as to when their “rights” prevent information from being used against them. The safest and best choice is to remain silent except for asking for a drug crimes lawyer. You do not want to help law enforcement officers obtain evidence that could result in lengthy incarceration, increased fines, and other penalties for a drug conviction.