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Drug charges dismissed against four of eight individuals

Eight individuals faced drug charges after raids of smoke shops in Gloucester, Virginia. The raids occurred in February, but the fate of each defendant has varied over the ensuing months. On June 12, the indictments were dismissed for four of the eight individuals.

According to reports, the individuals were charged following a raid on High Tyde Trading and Tobacco and Lutie's Lair Martial Arts Equipment and Gifts. One of the individual's homes was also raided. The searches occurred on Feb. 13.

Of the four remaining individuals, two pleaded guilty to drug charges and two are set to go to trial in August. The two individuals who pleaded guilty will be sentenced in October. The guilty pleas were for conspiracy to distribute analogues of a controlled substance. The individuals were originally charged with distribution of drug paraphernalia, conspiracy to distribute, intent to distribute and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

A 61-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman have not pleaded guilty and will face trial. The woman is charged with distribution of drug paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute. The man is charged with distribution of drug paraphernalia, conspiracy to launder money, maintaining a drug-involved premise and intent to distribute analogues of a controlled substance.

This case is a good illustration of the need for individual criminal defense when facing any charges. Even if alleged crimes are related, the action that is best for each individual may differ. Individuals who are accused of a crime should seek to understand what strategy is best for them, even if friends or others face the same or related allegations.

Source: Daily Press, "Spice case charges against four dismissed," July 1, 2014.

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