A federal indictment was unsealed on Sept. 12 and it identified 12 people who have been indicted after a year and a half investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The FBI identified the drug investigation as “Operation Holy Trap,” likely due to the fact that the defendants are accused of putting hidden compartments in vehicles used to transport cocaine to locations across the country.
Federal prosecutors said the cocaine was smuggled in these compartments, which were operated by hydraulics, to places such as Orlando and Tamarac, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, Boston, Massachusetts and Scranton, Pennsylvania. The mastermind of the drug ring is allegedly from Boston and the person responsible for installing the compartments in the transporting vehicles is allegedly from Atlanta. There were also allegedly ties to Texas and Louisiana.
As of Sept. 13, nine of the 12 indicted had already been arrested. They face serious penalties, including life imprisonment and over $10 million in possible fines.
While it might seem that a drug crime such as this one would be an open-and-shut case, that is not always what happens. Each defendant will have a chance to prove his or her innocence in court and the prosecutor will have to prove he or she is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal defense attorneys represent defendants to ensure their rights are protected throughout the court process, but also to build a strong case on their behalf. No matter what charges are filed against someone, there should always be a supposition of innocence until proven otherwise.
Source: miamiherald.com, “Prosecutors charge 12 in cocaine trafficking ring” No author given, Sep. 13, 2013