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Guilty plea to drug charges results in probation term

There is no doubt that state and federal governments look to impose the harshest penalties possible when it comes to sentencing for certain crimes. Convictions for drug crime charges are often among those that prosecutors in Virginia look to punish the most severely.

Sometimes, though, a drug charge may stack up as a relatively lower level infraction and that can prove to serve as a strategic asset in the formulation of a viable defense. The objective in every case is always to achieve the best possible outcome for the person charged, and that can depend on the details of a given case.

A man with some ties to the Virginia Beach area recently received a sentence of 10 years probation after pleading guilty to drug charges. According to reports, the one-time Navy recruit could have faced penalties much more harsh if he'd been tried and convicted of the full range of charges he was originally accused of.

Prosecutors in the man's case say that he was part of a terror group made up of low-level U.S. military personnel that had plans to launch anti-government attacks on sites in Savannah, Georgia and Washington state. They allegedly also planned to kill the president.

The government says the former Navy recruit had worked at a club in Savannah and had provided drugs that apparently were sold by the group to raise money for their plots. He was indicted early in November and pleaded guilty to charges just before Thanksgiving. Under terms of his plea deal, he pleaded guilty to drug possession and intent to distribute charges. He also agreed to help prosecutors develop the case against the alleged militia group.

This was the third guilty plea by defendants in connection with the case. Prosecutors say that 11 people have been charged, including three who are accused of murdering a former solder and his girlfriend to keep them quiet. The status of those cases isn't known.

Every person charged with a drug crime in Virginia deserves their day in court and the presentation of the best defense possible. A comprehensive defense is best obtained with the assistance of experienced legal counsel.

Source: The Cherokee Tribune, "Former Navy recruit gets probation on drug charges," Kate Brumback, Associated Press, Nov. 21, 2012

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