When police in Alaska make an arrest on suspicion of illegal drug activity, it sparks a chain of events that can have a significant impact on an accused individual’s life. No two cases involving drug charges are exactly the same. Even if two people are arrested in connection with the same incident, they will each have the separate opportunity to challenge the accusations. A case that began in the fall of 2020 has recently come to a close with a 35-year-old man sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to drug crimes.
A separate trial also resulted in a federal prison sentence
A woman was also accused in connection with the same investigation. She entered a guilty plea and has been sentenced to five years in federal prison. The 35-year-old’s sentence is eight years in federal prison. Each individual’s jail time will be followed by four years of supervised release. Court records show that both people pleaded guilty to trafficking fentanyl and heroin in the Fairbanks region.
Police say they learned of the defendants in connection with several overdoses
Alaska police say they were led to the man when they learned he was selling illegal drugs to people who then overdosed. Task force investigators say they purchased heroin several times from the man through a confidential source between May and June of 2020, which was determined by laboratory testing to be laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is FDA-approved for treating extreme pain, such as in the case of late-stage cancer patients.
Planning a criminal defense
While one person facing drug charges in Alaska might determine it best to plead guilty to some or all of the charges, another person might decide to plead not guilty and proceed to trial. Most individuals seek legal consultation before heading to court in order to enlist support from someone well-versed in criminal justice issues. An experienced attorney can help to explore all options available, then make recommendations as to which type of strategy might be best to help a client mitigate a particular set of circumstances.