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5 accused of shipping drugs in birthday packages

On Aug. 12, it was reported that New York authorities seized five kilograms of drugs that were allegedly being smuggled in the disguise of children's birthday presents. Authorities stated that the drugs were seized in the span of two weeks.

Authorities reportedly learned of the alleged scam during a wiretap investigation, and they ultimately intercepted five packages in total that contained more than $220,000 worth of drugs. Officials stated that one of the packages was wrapped in pink paper and had been placed in a birthday bag with a stuffed toy. A second package was mailed with a doll. All five packages were sent through the U.S. Postal Service.

A 24-year-old Harlem man was accused of being the ringleader. It was alleged that he had three underlings who would actually distribute the drugs. The Harlem resident was taken into custody on Aug. 2 and was charged with multiple charges that included conspiracy and drug possession. He was still being held in custody on $250,000 bail. Four others involved in the alleged drug ring were taken into custody on Aug. 4.

When people have been issued multiple drug charges, they may also be facing serious consequences that may potentially include incarceration, fines and years of probation. Depending on what role a defendant allegedly played in the ring, there may be several different defenses an attorney may utilize. Legal counsel may choose in some cases to negotiate with the prosecution for a reduction of the client's penalties in exchange for testimony against others who have been accused.

Source: New York Daily News, "NYC drug ring busted after cocaine shipped in packages disguised as kids' birthday gifts: officials", Barry Paddock, Aug. 12, 2015

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Lerner & Lerner, P.C.

Former prosecutors with more than 50 years of combined experience

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