The Polk County Attorney's Office made clear in court filings that it intends to seek aggravated sentencing against three men accused of trafficking narcotics. Convictions on charges of aggravated controlled substance crimes would allow a judge to impose penalties that exceed the normal Minnesota sentencing guidelines.
All three men are 20 years old, and law enforcement arrested them in an investigation that arose after a traffic stop resulted in the arrest of a 22-year-old man from East Grand Forks. Police found him collapsed inside his vehicle. After searching the vehicle, police reported finding blue pills labeled A 215 that they believed to be fentanyl, a powerful opioid linked to a nonfatal overdose in the region.
Questioning of the man led investigators to arrest the three men now facing aggravated charges. They stand accused of conspiring with two other men to distribute narcotics, cocaine, Xanax and ecstasy throughout the area. Investigators believe that the men obtained their drugs from the two other parties. According to witness affidavits one of the men who allegedly sourced the fentanyl pills ordered them online.
A person accused of serious drug charges with stiff penalties might want legal representation before making decisions about going to trial or accepting a plea deal. An attorney could evaluate the evidence to see if it meets the legal standards for the charges filed against the individual. Any weakness in the prosecution's case might enable an attorney to request a reduction of charges. This effort might produce a deal with a lighter sentence.
Source: Grand Forks Herald, "Man whose DUI broke open fentanyl ring case pleads guilty", Andrew Hazzard, July 28, 2017