An alleged synthetic drug ring in Colorado which has claimed to have been the subject of months of investigation by federal agents has resulted in at least nine arrests. Drug Enforcement Administration officials claim to have seized 150 pounds of synthetic marijuana (also known as spice).
The four alleged ringleaders were arrested during a raid of a store in Colorado Springs. Of more interest, agents claimed to then have posed at employees at the shop where the raid took place while arresting five additional individuals that purportedly tried to purchase the synthetic marijuana.
One federal agent involved in this drug investigation mentioned that many individuals do not realize that synthetic marijuana is illegal. This seems ironic in a state where the sale of marijuana is now allowed.
Though such synthetic substances have been banned in many localities, many of these bans have been extremely recent. This can result in individuals – especially young adults – attempting to purchase the substance from stores like the one mentioned above.
It can seem particularly unfair when harsh penalties are handed down in this manner. When considering how five individuals were arrested purchasing a substance from a store, the actions of law enforcement could be open to question. The burden of proof in every criminal case must remain upon the prosecution. Also, in the event that guilt is found, no criminal penalties should be disproportionate to the crime.
Criminal defense attorneys attempt to make sure that the legal process is just and that no person is found guilty because of the actions of others. Courts must be allowed to look at the individual circumstances concerning every drug arrest.
Source: KOAA, “Federal authorities bust large synthetic drug ring in Colorado Springs,” Oct. 24, 2013