Recently, seven suspects were arrested after a months-long investigation into a narcotics ring. According to reports, the Ventura County Combined Agency Team and the US DEA began the investigation into a major narcotics ring some months back. They began by investigating a 33-year-old Bakersfield suspect who was believed to be trafficking fake prescription pills and methamphetamine into Ventura County.
The pills were made to look like normal prescription oxycodone but contained the dangerous drug fentanyl. The arrests happened on March 16 in Camarillo, where the suspect and six of his cohorts were conducting a delivery of fentanyl and meth. All told, about 45 pounds of meth and 50,000 fentanyl pills were seized by police after they were found in the vehicles three suspects arrived in.
All of the suspects were booked into county jail in downtown Los Angeles on federal charges of possession with intent to distribute.
Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute is a serious crime under federal law, and it can be broken down into two parts: possession and intent. Possession means having the drugs on you or under your control. If drugs are found in your pocket, for example, you can be charged with possession. However, you can also be charged if they’re found in your home or car, since they’re considered to be under your control.
That being said, a person usually needs to be aware that the drugs are present for them to be charged with possession. If someone else brings drugs into your home which you have no knowledge of, you likely won’t be charged.
Intent to distribute has to be proven by the circumstances surrounding the case. Intent to distribute is typically assumed when someone has narcotics in too high a quantity to realistically be for personal use. Additionally, the presence of packing materials, currency, and records of communications with buyers can all be used to prove intent to sell.
As far as the penalties go, they depend a lot on the type of narcotics involved and the federal sentencing guidelines a judge must follow.