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Utah residents accused of drug crimes stemming from business

Police say they recently discovered an intricate drug ring here in Utah. According to authorities, the organization rivaled that of an actual corporation, with an accounting division, salespeople, a security team and two homes that served as offices. Thirteen people have been charged with various drug crimes in conjunction with the case.

Police said a tip led them to find the alleged drug ring, which they say distributed methamphetamine and cocaine among other substances. The operation was apparently headed up by the equivalent of a CEO who has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He has been charged with distribution of drugs, money laundering and engaging in a criminal enterprise. Authorities claim that he managed many of the financial responsibilities in connection with the acquisition and sales of drugs.

Some say that a corporate environment is becoming more common in drug organizations. The area where the ring is said to have been based is a quiet county in Utah, where many of the accused have lived all their lives. The cases for each defendant are currently pending.

Drug crimes in Utah often carry very stiff penalties including fines and jail time. Many of those accused in this case are entering pleas of not guilty and it is worth noting that their innocence is presumed in the eyes of the law, unless and only if proven otherwise. Those who are facing similar situations have the right to either fight the charges against them or negotiate a plea deal with authorities. Having extensive knowledge of their options may mean a lesser sentence or even a dismissal of charges in certain cases.

Source: ksl.com, "Alleged drug ring in Lehi run like major corporation, police say", Debbie Dujanovic, April 29, 2014

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