Articles Posted in Drug Crimes

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Beverly Hills drug crime stories can get pretty epic. Craig-Robinson-Arrest-drug-crime.jpg

Tinseltown stars portray larger-than-life characters on the screen, but their off-the-screen exploits can be even more astonishing.

Consider the recent saga of actor Craig Robinson, who played Darryl Philbin, the warehouse boss on NBC’s The Office. Robinson — who also starred in this year’s blockbuster summer comedy, This is the End — recently got detained in the Bahamas for possessing drugs, including marijuana and 18 pills of MDMA (a.k.a. ecstasy).

The actor, who had been performing at the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas, got stopped just before he boarded a plane heading back to the United States. He admitted that he had brought drugs from the United States and that he hadn’t realized they were illegal in the Bahamas.

The actor could have been imprisoned for four years. But he got off with a fine of $1,000.

Robinson has been featured in a number of drug themed comedies, so perhaps this is a case of “life imitates art.” The Bahamas case is not Robinson’s first brush with the law, either. In 2008, police in Culver City arrested him for possessing methamphetamine and ecstasy. Robinson went through a drug diversion program to get the charges dismissed.

Robinson’s other credits include “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” “Hot Tub Time Machine,” and “Pineapple Express.”

Pineapple Express is actually the story of a drug deal gone epically, comically wrong.

Of course, Beverly Hills drug crime charges are anything but a laughing matter. If you or someone you know has been accused of a similar crime, you could face stringent punishments, even if it’s your first time ever breaking the law in Beverly Hills. For instance, depending on the nature of your crime, you could face mandatory felony charges and face over a year in jail.

Fortunately, you have options at your disposal to construct a sound and ethical Beverly Hills drug crime defense.

Attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group would be happy to provide a free and confidential consultation about your options. Your drug crime defense will depend on a variety of factors, including whether you’ve been arrested before, whether you also distributed and sold drugs, whether you committed other crimes in addition to drug charges, and beyond. Let Attorney Kraut help you make sense of your complex Beverly Hills drug crime defense case.

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Major breaking Los Angeles drug crime news… losangelesdrumcrimedefense.jpg

A law enforcement crack down, code named “Operation Smokin’ Aces,” has led to the indictment of 129 people linked to the Mexican mafia. These alleged gang members have been charged with drug and weapon charges, conspiracy, racketeering, murder, and extortion – just to name a few crimes.

According to an AP report about the bust: “The Mexican Mafia sought and received payments from gangs in Orange County in exchange for freely committing crimes in primarily Latino neighborhoods… those who refused were put on lists that often resulted in violent retribution.”

Los Angeles is renowned (in a bad way) for its major gang activity.

Over 45 gangs are active in the city, and many of these gangs have been around for decades. Police estimate that they have over 45,000 members. This decade alone, there have been 16,398 verified violent gang crimes in L.A., including nearly 500 murders, over 7,000 felony assaults, nearly 100 rapes, and over 5,500 robberies.

People who stand accused of drug crimes in Southern California face a series of challenging tasks. If you or loved one has been involved with a gang, you might be afraid of reprisals, both inside and outside of jail. At the same time, you also want to minimize your punishments and maximum your chances of rehabilitating your life, getting clean, and contributing positively to society. In that context, how can you construct an ethical, impassioned, and effective defense, especially if you’re fearful both for your life and safety?

To understand your options, get in touch with the experienced, aggressive, and successful Los Angeles drug crime attorneys at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut and his team handle sensitive, complex matters, and they can help you meet your complex legal challenges.

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CBS Los Angeles is reporting that two men were recently jailed for Long Beach drug crimes, following an investigation by local police. drug-crime-in-long-beach.jpg

Law enforcement officers tracking heroin trafficking got intel that led them to Bell Gardens — specifically, to the 7500 block of Jaboneria Road. The tipoff ultimately led to them to confiscate nine firearms, 12 pounds of drugs, and nearly $120,000 in cash.

Police arrested a Bell Gardens resident, 21-year-old Oscar Salmoran, after they served a warrant. They also confiscated 2.5 pounds of crystal meth and 3.5 pounds of heroin. Salmoran was booked and held without bail at Long Beach City jail.

This Long Beach drug crime bust led police officers take on additional targets the next day. After filing search warrants, police found six more pounds of heroin and $46,000 in cash at the 5300 block of Aldama Street. They also arrested 56-year-old Domingo Payan, who was held on $100,000 bail and booked for possession of narcotics with the intent to sell. Long Beach police also visited two homes on Montecito Street (2700 block) and collected nine more guns and $72,000 in cash.

Whether these seizures – and the intel that investigators collected – will lead to further search warrants, arrests, and raids is unknown. However, this kind of police finesse is not uncommon.

Drug users, purchasers, sellers, and suppliers relate to one another in a complex network, not unlike a computer network or even a Facebook or Twitter network. Even if you never intended to get tangled up with other drug groups or criminal networks, social connections that bind you to other criminals (or alleged criminals) can get you into more trouble than you bargained for.

For instance, let’s say you did business with a drug supplier who, in his line of work, committed a violent crime, like robbery, assault, or homicide. Depending on your relationship with that person — and the nature of the wrongdoing — you could face criminal charges, even if you had no knowledge of the criminal acts and didn’t directly help.

The interconnectivity among Long Beach drug crime defendants also makes it easier for police officers and investigators to “piece together” what you’ve done and whom you’ve done it with. It also increases the odds that you’ll be stuck with a very severe sentence, related to drug conspiracy charges and violent crimes, even if you never intended to “get in that deep.”

What to do regarding your Los Angeles crime charges?

Former prosecutor turned Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, Michael Kraut, can help you understand what potential punishments you might face and what you can do to defend yourself against the worst charges. Mr. Kraut built a reputation as a very aggressive prosecutor – racking up a 99%-plus success rate at jury trials. He now serves as a legal expert for KTLA News, ABC News, and other respected media organizations.

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Getting arrested for a drug crime in Los Angeles is serious business.eric-holder-los-angeles-drug-crime.jpg

Current mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes can compel nonviolent offenders to spend substantial time behind bars. The way our society punishes drug crimes is not without its critics, though. In fact, the Obama administration’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, recently lashed out at the “draconian mandatory minimum sentences” for nonviolent offenders.

Holder recently told the American Bar Association that prison system was intended to “punish, deter, and to rehabilitate, not to merely warehouse and forget.” He’s ordered the prosecutors in his department to “modify the Justice Department’s charging policies” to ensure that nonviolent offenders — who have committed relatively minor crimes, such as possession of marijuana — “will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences.”

He also decried the fact that black men who go to jail are given sentences “20% longer than those imposed on white males convicted of similar crimes.” He called this fact “shameful.”

Holder told NPR earlier in the year: “the war on drugs is now 30, 40 years old … there have been a lot of unintended consequences. There has been a decimation of certain communities, in particular, communities of color … we can certainly change our enforcement priorities.”

Holder wants U.S. attorneys to avoid prosecuting all cases that can be dealt with by California (or other state or local) authorities and to focus instead on violent and serious offenders. He said he aims to make the “federal government … both smarter and tougher on crime.”

Many in the Los Angeles criminal defense community are excited to hear that the U.S. Attorney General is promoting aggressive reforms.

But if you — or a close friend or family member — face urgent and practical problems about your defense, such proposed reforms might not matter much. Creating an effective defense to Southern California criminal drug charges is no small matter, even if you stand accused of a simple, nonviolent offense, such as a misdemeanor possession. And if you stand accused of more complex or serious offenses, such as possession with intent to sell, conspiracy, or drug charges coupled with violent criminal charges, such as assault, battery, sex crimes, etc, your situation can be quite serious.

Don’t let a lack of sound insight imperil your future and lead you to a far more punitive punishment than you deserve. A former senior prosecutor for the City of Los Angeles, Michael Kraut, can consult with you about your Southern California drug charges. Mr. Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor with lots of experience on both sides of complex drug cases.

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Reporters have called it “one of the largest single crackdowns on organized crime in L.A. County history” — on August 6th, local authorizes from multiple agencies cracked down on the Los Angeles drug crime trade created by the Mexican Mafia prison gang. Mexican-Mafia.jpg

The raid collected almost $20 million in methamphetamines (600 pounds’ worth!) and led to the arrest of eight people – alleged members of the Mexican Mafia or “La Familia.” Police nabbed a cache of firearms and handguns. According to reports, the gang members had been coordinating a drug running operation known mysteriously as “The Project.” The idea was that members would supply meth all over Southern California in exchange for protection in jail and safety on the streets.

U.S. Attorney André Birotte, Jr. summarized what happened: “our joint efforts have helped disrupt a plot that could have flooded literally our neighborhoods with tons of methamphetamines and other narcotics… we have put an end to an alignment of criminal organizations that would have been unprecedented.”

In related news, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) indicted 31 gang members with charges such as aiding and abetting, drug offences, conspiracy, beyond – all 31 people face life behind bars without chance of parole.

A large scale bust on the Mexican mafia in Los Angeles County is not without precedent. Back in 2007, authorities arrested and charged 100 alleged gang members, five of whom got sentenced to life in jail without parole.

Putting Your Los Angeles Drug Crime Charges in Perspective
If you were arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to sell, conspiracy, or even a basket of drug charges, you know that the law takes these cases very seriously. Among the punishments you could face include: jail time, fines and fees, the loss of your license, probation terms, and beyond. You may also face multiple counts, which means that your punishments could stack up on each other.

Executing a Sound Los Angeles Criminal Defense Strategy

Crafting a good defense is non-intuitive work.

Ideally, you want to find an attorney who has real world, practical knowledge working on both sides of the law – as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney – with a demonstrated record of success in each capacity.

Attorney Michael Kraut with the Kraut Law Group has those unique qualifications. He served for 14 plus years as a high level prosecutor (rising to the level of Senior Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles), and has since built a thriving, successful criminal defense firm, the Kraut Law Group. Connect with Mr. Kraut and his team today to schedule a free, confidential consultation about your defense options.

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Do you face Los Angeles drug charges, such as illegal possession, distribution, or conspiracy? jenelle-evans-los-angeles-drug-crime.jpg

If so, you can probably relate to the plights of two female reality starts: Tulisa Contostavlos (former X Factor judge) and Jenelle Evans, (star of the reality show, Teen Mom).

Tulisa — who won fame as a singer (“We Are Young”) — got busted in June for providing an undercover reporter with a Class A drug. Mike GLC, a fellow musician, was arrested with her.

Per the Sun, a British newspaper, the 25 year-old Tulisa was caught on camera hooking up an undercover journalist with a purported drug dealer at London’s Dorchester Hotel. The deal was reportedly worth 820 pounds. Tulisa has tried to duck out of the limelight. But Mike GLC vocally denied being a drug dealer and claimed that all the negative attention from the case was “ruining [his] life.”

Meanwhile, back across The Pond, Teen Mom star Jenelle Evans returned to jail after she failed a drug test. Evans got hit with an intense array of charges, including assault and heroin possession. Her sentence: 18 months of unsupervised probation.

The star of Teen Mom 2 — which apparently is now in jeopardy of being cancelled by MTV — has been through the ringer, legally speaking. In May, she failed to show up at a court hearing pursuant to charges that she had cyber-stalked an ex-boyfriend. She had to pay a $1,000 bond and turn herself in.

She later claimed on her blog that she made a simple scheduling mistake. She wrote: “at 9 AM I get a text from my lawyer telling me “make sure your [sic] at court at 9.30 AM.” As soon as I see that text, my heart dropped out of my a**! I responded with, “Do I have to be there?” Because sometimes I don’t have to be there… he responded with “they’re holding the case open until you get here.”

But she didn’t make it in time and wound up with a “failure to appear” charge.

Do You Face Los Angeles Drug Crime Charges?

Whether you got booked for selling marijuana in Burbank, or you face a more complicated set of charges, you can leverage a variety of defenses. To learn about your Los Angeles drug crime defense options – to develop a strategy to move beyond the arrest and get your life back – talk to Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut now.

Mr. Kraut is a highly reputable, resourceful, and aggressive attorney who has lots of personal connections in the Southern California legal community.

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Whether you swiped a bottle of Tide from Walgreens or committed felony robbery and assault in addition to Los Angeles petty theft, you’re probably feeling pretty sheepish and regretful. You’re not the first person to steal “bizarre stuff” – and you won’t be the last. In two posts, we’re going to use true or false quizzes to test your knowledge of theft history. gorilla-theft-los-angeles.jpg

Half of the following examples are made up, and half are real.

Can you guess which ones are which?

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You never thought it would shake you up so badly, but it has: your Los Angeles petty theft charge has totally “thrown you off your game” and created confusion, panic, and fear about your future. Your fears are not groundless! If you get convicted for two petty theft charges in Los Angeles, for instance, prosecutors can essentially upgrade your charge to a felony. And as you may or may not know, a felony conviction can lead to over a year behind bars. Convicted felons can also be stripped of vital basic rights, including the right to vote in elections. They can also face problems in the future getting housing, employment, credit, you name it.petty-theft-los-angeles-charges.jpg

But let’s put all that aside for a second. Let’s spend some time thinking about how your life may likely unfold in the days and weeks ahead.

On the one hand, you have got this petty theft charge constantly occupying your thoughts. On the other hand, life goes on. Assuming that you are not still incarcerated due to other charges, you may be back at school or your job, and dealing with family stuff, relationship stuff, and all the other errands and logistics that you had on your plate prior to the arrest.

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Getting arrested for lewd conduct in Los Angeles can be a harrowing experience.los-angeles-lewd-conduct-arrest.jpg

Yes, getting arrested for any crime in Southern California is scary. You face the specter of jail time, massive fees and fines, insurance related problems, professional reputation issues, logistical headaches, and on and on.

But lewd conduct charges are particularly vexing! Defendants are often “prejudged” by friends, family members, peers, and the community at large. For some reason, getting a lewd conduct charge often feels like being tarred and feathered. First of all, if you are convicted, you may be saddled with the “sex offender” label for decades, if not for a lifetime. You do not need to be reminded about what this negative label can do in terms of restricting where you can live, wreaking havoc on your personal and professional life, and potentially destroying your self-esteem – not to mention teeing you up for massive trouble if you ever break the law again.

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If you’ve recently been arrested for the crime of petty theft in Los Angeles – i.e. stealing money or property worth $400 or less — you can be hit with a misdemeanor charge and forced to spend half a year of your life behind bars – as well as to pay serious court fines and restitution, attend counseling and probation, perform community service, and so on. tide-theft-los-angeles.jpg

Petty theft and shoplifting, in other words, can lead to not so petty consequences!

That being side, some would-be thieves will not be deterred. A nationwide string of Tide laundry detergent thefts has storeowners miffed and law enforcement agents baffled. No one really knows why laundry detergent has become such a hot black market commodity. But some people who’ve investigated believe that the thefts may be linked to drug trafficking. In California, 55-year-old Roland Ledesma got hit with a $1 million bail after he stole nine bottles of laundry detergent and crashed his car near the scene. Ledesma reportedly had multiple priors, and police apparently had reason to believe that he was under the influence of methamphetamines or alcohol during the theft/car crash.

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