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California student drops guilty plea for drug dealing charge

On Sept. 26, it was reported that a California teenager who was accused of being involved in a high school drug ring was allowed to withdraw a guilty plea that he had entered for a drug dealing charge. This decision was made by the court after the man, age 18, was sentenced to three years of probation on a drug possession charge.

The accused man and a second person, also age 18, were taken into police custody after the Coachella Valley Narcotics Task Force investigated accusations of a drug-dealing operation that was allegedly occurring on the school campus. When their homes were searched, authorities reportedly found 16 grams of cocaine, MDMA powder and drug packaging items.

On June 26, the man pleaded guilty to drug possession and drug dealing; however, his guilty plea for the drug dealing charge was dropped. The co-defendant pleaded guilty to drug possession on June 18, for which he was sentenced to three years of probation. A third student was also taken into custody on suspicion of drug possession with intent to sell. During a search of his home, 25 grams of cocaine were seized.

When a person is accused of being involved in a drug ring, the consequences can be severe. For example, the person could face a jail sentence and fines as well as probation after release. Further, students who are accused could lose the ability to be eligible for admission to some colleges. A criminal defense attorney may help the accused person either fight the charges if the evidence against them is not strong. Otherwise, plea negotiations could result in less severe consequences.

Source: Palm Desert Patch, "Teen Gets Probation in High School Drug Ring Case", Alexander Nguyen, Sept. 26, 2015

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