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Police arrest 50 in alleged drug trafficking crackdown

What would you do if you were arrested as part of a 50-person roundup and confronted by local and federal law enforcement? What if you weren't a citizen and there were also officers from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement department potentially threatening deportation involved in your arrest? In this kind of situation, any Maryland resident would rightfully be frightened and confused on what to do next. If police were to ask any questions, a suspect may forget his or her right to speak with a criminal defense attorney and the right to remain silent, giving up information that police and prosecutors may twist and use in court.

According to NBC New York, local and federal agents have recently arrested 50 alleged members of a drug trafficking gang. It is unclear how many, if any of the suspects are not American citizens, but ICE was deeply involved in the arrests and operation. The suspects now face drug charges involving firearms and other racketeering charges.

It seems law enforcement has been planning this alleged drug bust for a long time, even going so far as to name it "Operation Patria." The crackdown pulled in investigators from several agencies, including: the New York Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and ICE. It is unclear how long police and other federal officers observed the 50 men and women before they moved in to arrest them.

Police claim they found ecstasy, cocaine, heroin and marijuana during the arrests. They also allegedly found two firearms, a few knives and two firearms.

Source: NBC New York, "50 Gang Suspects Arrested in Manhattan Drug Trafficking Sting," Joe Valiquette, Dec. 7, 2011

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