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19 arrested for allegedly selling illegal drugs over the Internet

As more people show an interest in social media in states across the nation, including here in California, so too do law enforcement agencies. Many of our more frequent readers may know this already because we have discussed this fact in past posts. Law enforcement agencies now skim Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts looking for evidence to use in criminal cases.

While in some cases they have stumbled upon information they find incriminating and have pressed charges as a result, many times searching social media for evidence usually happens after a person has become a suspect. But with an increased number of people using the Internet now more than ever, it seems this norm is shifting and police are using different methods to find their suspects.

Such was the case for deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department who recently arrested 19 people for drug crimes. The arrests came about because of a five-month investigation into posts made on sites such as Facebook and Craigslist. Although the posts looked innocuous, police say they were actually advertisements for the sale of illegal drugs -- using codenames as cover. A website is reported to have provided them with the codenames for illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs. Police then used this information as evidence in the arrests.

Those arrested here in California now face serious drug charges that could lead to harsh consequences if convictions are made. Hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences could occur, which can be life altering. And because most of those who were arrested are considered unemployed and students, steep consequences such as this could be life changing.

With help from attorneys though, the hope is that those facing charges may be able to better plead their case. There might even be a possibility of leniency in some cases.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, “San Diego County deputies bust Internet sales of illegal drugs,” Tony Perry, May 11, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results