On Friday, August 8, several people considered “major players” in an Orlando-based drug organization were arrested, according to News 13. Authorities uncovered an elaborate drug trafficking ring in which overnight shipments of drugs originating in California including cocaine and marijuana were arriving at hotels in Orlando, a sting the authorities dubbed ‘Operation Hotel California.’
Several agencies worked in conjunction to make the major drug bust a success including the Orange and Seminole County Sheriff’s Offices, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, and the Orlando Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation.
Suspects who were arrested in the drug bust faces various charges from trafficking cocaine and marijuana, conspiracy to traffic cocaine in excess of 400 grams, conspiracy to traffic marijuana in excess of 25 pounds to importation of marijuana and racketeering. News reports indicate that the Orlando Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation began receiving information in December of last year that parcels which were “suspicious” were being delivered to hotels in Orlando, specifically those on International Drive.
At the time of news reports 26 people in all had been identified, arrested, or were in the process of being arrested. While the names were not released at the time, two people were identified. 35-year-old Binh Tran of Westminster, California is believed to be the supplier of the marijuana. Authorities also revealed that 29-year-old Joshua Slemons was the ringleader of the Florida portion of the drug operation.
There is no doubt that the individuals involved in this drug ring will face serious criminal penalties if convicted. In the state of Michigan, cocaine possession with intent to distribute or deliver involving 400 grams up to 449 grams will leave the defendant facing up to 20 years in prison along with fines of up to $250,000 if found guilty. Amounts of more than 450 grams adds a possible additional 10 years in prison to the sentence, and increases fines to a maximum of $500,000.
A drug conviction can literally ruin a person’s life, considering he or she will have a criminal record, marred reputation, and possibly face a substantial number of years behind bars. If you have been accused of possessing marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or any illegal substance, consult with an aggressive Michigan drug crime attorney right away. It is often possible to avoid serious damage and loss of your freedom, but you must take action immediately.