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Man sentenced to 210 months in prison for heroin ring

On Aug. 27, it was reported that a South Carolina man who was convicted for his involvement in a heroin smuggling ring was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison. The 47-year-old man had pleaded guilty to money laundering, possessing heroin with intent to distribute and possession with intention to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin.

The defendant was charged in April 2014 after an investigation was launched into the alleged ring. He was accused of bringing the heroin in from New York and India and distributing it in the Midlands area in South Carolina. The report stated that the man's punishments were more harsh as he had prior felony convictions. In addition to the prison sentence, he was sentenced to eight years of supervised release.

Five individuals also pleaded guilty to similar charges. Their ages ranged from 25 to 52. All five individuals received prison sentences that ranged from 37 months to 120 months. One individual had pleaded guilty but had not yet been sentenced.

Depending on the drug charges a person is facing, the punishments can be severe. The person could potentially be facing a decade or more in prison followed by years of supervised release. If there were multiple people involved in an alleged crime, a criminal defense attorney may argue that the accused person did not play a role in the crime. Depending on the evidence, the attorney may argue that the evidence was seized unlawfully or that the evidence was potentially tampered with. Otherwise, a plea deal may potentially be negotiated that reduces the potential punishment in exchange for guilty pleas and cooperation.

Source: NBC 26, "Columbia man sentenced to 17.5 years for role in heroin ring", J. Bryan Randall, Aug. 27, 2015

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