Six New York residents have been charged with collaborating in order to maintain a prescription drug operation with the intent to distribute the drugs throughout the country. Making matters seem even worse, authorities say the drug ring was using one member's apartment, which doubled as a day care center, as a storage site for many of the drugs. Federal prosecutors indicate that they will pursue these drug charges, because the health and safety of young children was reportedly at risk.
The Drug Enforcement Administration purportedly discovered the ring after an informant working with the DEA purchased 400 Percocet pills in an undercover sting operation. According to police reports, those implicated instructed those buying the pills to send money to a bank account controlled by a member of the ring.
Reports do not indicate how the informant connected the individual who sold the drugs to the other five people charged in the drug operation. As the accused work with their defense team, a potential independent investigation will trace the steps law enforcement took in order to gather evidence. This is particularly important when dealing with chain of custody for the drugs, which is important to prove that everyone charged is indeed connected to the drug ring.
Understandably, each of the six individuals charged face a difficult road ahead as they plan to respond to the pending drug charges. They are, however, only suspected of committing a crime, which is quite different from being convicted of one. The burden of proof for these allegations is squarely upon the federal prosecutor in New York, who must convince a court that the accused individuals are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before any conviction can be obtained. That is no small feat, though each person charged would likely benefit by focusing on the specific allegations against them as they plan their defense and fight for an acquittal.
Source: The New York Times, "6 Charged With Running Drug Ring From Bronx Day Care Center," Matt Flegenheimer, April 11, 2012