Drug distribution and trafficking includes the transportation, selling, manufacturing, and importation of substances such as cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl. Regardless of whether you are arrested at the state or federal level, these crimes carry significant penalties, calling for decades in prison and mandatory minimum sentences if convicted.
Large-scale drug arrests usually first begin with a long, complex, and intrusive DEA investigation sometimes years in advance. This branch of law enforcement has historically been provided with wide latitude and discretion when conducting an investigation and frequently uses informants, video surveillance, search warrants, subpoenas, phone taps, consensual recordings, and other methods to hone in on their target.
There are three primary ways that you can respond to a DEA investigation: (i) you can ignore it, (ii) you can comply with the DEA’s demands, or (iii) you can intervene. By hiring a DEA defense lawyer to intervene, not only can you slow down the investigative process, but you can also ensure that the investigating agents do not overreach, and you can avoid unnecessarily disclosing information that could potentially lead to trouble for you individually or your pharmacy if you are a healthcare professional.
Moreover, it is crucial that your federal drug lawyer determine the scope of the investigations at this stage. If you are a doctor or work at a pharmacy, our firm can determine what you are being targeted for: Anti-Kickback Statute, DEA Registration violations, Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), electronic prescription fraud, inventory or storage violations, Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare billing fraud, money laundering, private insurance fraud, or opioid diversion.
If you receive a subpoena from the DEA in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, or come to understand that you are under investigation, you must have a clear and comprehensive understanding of your exposure. The best way to do so is by having your criminal defense attorney like us conduct an internal and counter-investigation by auditing your records, preserving important, exculpatory documentation, and exploring other avenues to fend off potential charges.
After conducting an internal DEA risk assessment, especially if you are a doctor, you must assess the results and consider what the DEA may or may not find as well as how your compliance efforts may provide a useful defense. The right attorney at this stage will address the allegations at issue, and your defense will be specifically tailored in order to absolve you of any liability.
Crafting a sound defense early on will assure that the matter proceeds as smooth as possible and can mitigate your sentence later should you be convicted. Further, at this stage, you will need to rely on your defense counsel to communicate with the investigating agents, deal with federal prosecutors, and try to protect you against federal charges. Once you or your pharmacy falls within the DEA’s crosshairs, the best possible outcome is to resolve the investigation without charges being filed. Whether this means avoiding liability entirely or negotiating a pre-charge settlement will depend on the specific circumstances presented. We have been successful in convincing federal prosecutors that no civil or criminal penalties are warranted in many cases.
If you are being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), do not hesitate to reach out to a former prosecutor and experienced criminal defense attorney. Whether you are a witness, suspect, or target, finding out about an investigation during this early stage can be lifesaving, and hiring an aggressive defense attorney will assure that your criminal exposure is limited moving forward. Any missteps early on will undoubtedly lead to a criminal prosecution and prison time, as well as a permanent criminal record.
Rather, a meticulous defense attorney will begin a counter a counter-investigation by identifying witnesses, locating corroborative evidence, and issuing any necessary subpoenas. Do not be naive or misguided during this process. Just because there may not be a threat of an arrest yet, if you do not protect yourself with a buffer from law enforcement, you can be certain one will follow.
The sooner you put your case in the hands of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer, the more opportunity you will have to work toward a favorable outcome.
Contact Jason Goldman Criminal Defense Lawyer any time for a free consultation.