The Law Offices of John Phebus

Animal cruelty and drug charges at the Arizona border

Border Patrol agents face challenges in monitoring evening conditions in the Arizona desert. On May 21, night operations in the vicinity of the tiny community of Why allowed officials to observe activity involving nine individuals. These people wore large backpacks as they traveled through the desert in the area, which is a zone that tends to have quite a bit of immigration and drug trafficking activity. The proximity to Interstate 8 is one of the main reasons for this high level of activity.

As ground personnel confronted the group and took the individuals into custody, the apparent immigrants allegedly tried to evade the authorities. One of the women in the group used her fist to strike the face of a horse used by Border Patrol personnel. During ensuing investigation of the area, officials discovered seven backpacks, which contained nearly 400 pounds of marijuana. The drugs had an estimated street value of approximately $500,000.

While some members of the party admitted to drug-related activity, the woman who hit the horse maintained her silence. She has since been detained in a local jail and faces a charge of animal cruelty as well as drug charges. Reports do not indicate whether action was taken against the remaining members of the group.

An individual might be confronted with serious charges because of association even if they are not necessarily acquainted with other individuals involved in a drug-related case. Issues that could call a detention into question could include facts such as the lack of drugs on one's person or in one's residence or vehicle. Violations of one's search and seizure rights could also leave an avenue for having charges dismissed. A lawyer can be an important resource for a person who has been charged with drug trafficking or possession. In some cases, it might be prudent to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor that would provide for a lesser penalty in exchange for a guilty plea.

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