D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
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Stiff sentence for Colombian drug lord

Sometimes cooperating with authorities and bargaining with useful information is a powerful tactic when trying to reduce or drop drug-related charges against you. However, if you are too well-known, and the information used to incriminate you is too great or receives too much publicity, you may have a very difficult time negotiating a deal and may instead need to rely upon building a strong defense.

In the case of the drug dealer known as El Loco, touted by an Assistant U.S. Attorney as one of the most prolific drug dealers in the world, his crimes, and his admissions were too great to admonish with any level of negotiation. While his Miami-based attorney hoped for a plea bargain, it appeared to be ill-received and angrily rebuked.

The drug dealer admitted to moving approximately 400 tons of cocaine a year over a period spanning more than a decade. His dealings were backed by terrorists and lethal drug cartels, and he was alleged to carry a weapon for a time, killing those who stood in his way.

The man was given a 35-year prison sentence by the judge, which was in line with what the U.S. government suggested. Since El Loco is 48, this may mean he never walks out a free man. As part of the sentence, $10 million was ordered to be forfeited, and he was ordered to pay an additional $10 million in fines.

Even if you don't have the level of offenses that El Loco carried, there may be significant options for you to build a strong defense against the charges against you and in the lesser scope of your charges, negotiations or assisting with the conviction of a bigger criminal offender may be well-received and go a long way in your reduced admonishment. A Florida criminal defense attorney may be able to assist you in the right avenues to navigate to yield the most favorable outcome.

Source: whio.com, "Man touted as one of the biggest drug dealers ever gets 35 years," Larry Neumeister, July 25, 2016

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D. Scott Rieth
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