On Nov. 19, California state law enforcement took 50 people into custody who were allegedly connected to the Nortenos street gang. The investigation started in August. Alleged gang members were said to have been involved in possessing and selling firearms, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.
According to law enforcement, 25 pounds of drugs were seized, including methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl. Eight assault weapons were also seized. Among other crimes, some of the suspects were said to be involved in the shooting of a 10-year-old boy in his backyard, and law enforcement reported that they had identified the individuals responsible.
The investigation was a joint one conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies. The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, the Stockton Police Department Gang Violence Suppression Unit, the Special Operations Unit and the California Department of Justice and California Highway Patrol were all involved.
People who are facing charges related to drug trafficking, drug possession or other drug-related offenses may want to consult an attorney. An attorney may suggest a number of different strategies depending on the nature of the charges, what kind of evidence the prosecution has and whether the individual charged has prior convictions. There could be situations in which the attorney may be able to get charges dismissed, such as if the substances are tested and found not to be drugs or if they were improperly handled and tested. It might also be the case if the substances were found during an illegal search and seizure. The person may choose to go to trial and plead not guilty. Another option might be a plea bargain. This would involve bypassing a trial and making a deal with the prosecution in which the person pleads guilty in exchange for reduced charges and a lesser penalty.