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Criminal Law Blog

Overdose Death Investigations: Criminal Defense Considerations – Can the Prosecution Make Their Case?

Fentanyl is fueling more and more law enforcement investigations and criminal prosecutions in Texas for many things including, obviously, felony charges for drug trafficking and money laundering.  However, more and more often prosecutors are looking to find ways to charge the accused for a death caused by overdoses involving fentanyl, either used alone or with…


Solicitation of Prostitution or Sex Trafficking? Overzealous Prosecutions of Johns in Texas

Earlier this year, national headlines announced that the Department of Homeland Security had made almost four dozen (46) arrests for felony sex trafficking here in North Texas.  However, it was soon discovered that those arrested on federal felony charges as traffickers were actually individuals who thought they were dealing with sex workers (prostitutes) for consensual…


Xylazine or Tranq: Zombie Drug is New Focus for Drug Arrests in Texas

Drug arrests in Texas that may include other serious charges (like conspiracy or homicide) are known to be fixed upon fentanyl these days; both Texas and federal law enforcement are blatantly targeting fentanyl use as well as its manufacture and distribution.  For more, read our earlier discussions in Fentanyl Charges Under Federal Law: Felonies and…


Cryptocurrency and Money Laundering: Digital Money Felony Arrests

Operation Crypto Runner here in Texas is one example of federal focus on crypto crime. Money mules here in Texas can face very serious felony charges, even if they were unwilling or clueless participants in an illegal scheme that usually involves money laundering.  Marks can still get arrested: that is where an experienced criminal defense…


Money Mules: Fraud Victims Become Criminals Facing Arrest in Texas

Who gets arrested in Texas for being a money mule? It is often shocking to the accused as well as their loved ones that people being victimized by sophisticated enterprises, often based overseas, find themselves under arrest and facing serious felony charges. In my own Texas criminal practice, I am aware of more and more…


Drug-Induced Homicide Prosecutions in Texas: Overdose Murders

Fentanyl arrests in Texas may soon come with specific felony murder charges. Fentanyl is changing things in Texas and across the country, as more and more law enforcement efforts are targeting the manufacturing and distribution of this particular illegal drug and controlled substance. For more, read our earlier discussions in Texas Governor’s Designation of Mexican Cartels…


Federal Sentencing for Drug Couriers and Drug Mules

At perhaps the lowest rung of the organizational ladder for illegal cartel operations here in Texas and elsewhere is the courier or “mule.”  These are the people who physically transport or move stuff from one point to another.  Maybe it’s across international borders or over state lines.  It may be on foot (i.e., ingested); by…


Marijuana Trends and Sentencing in the Federal System: New 2023 USSC Report

From a criminal defense standpoint, in federal matters it is extremely important not only to research statutes and court case precedent but to monitor federal agency actions and positions – especially within the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) or the Judicial Branch.  Things change with the times, and with administrations.  And these changes can impact how…


Policy Changes in Charges, Pleas, and Sentencing for Federal Drug Crime Prosecutions: New AG Garland DOJ Directive

An internal memorandum from the Attorney General of the United States (“AG”) addressed to “all federal prosecutors” may not seem that powerful to some.  After all, it isn’t a new federal statute passed by Congress and it isn’t an Executive Order signed by the President.  Still, a single memo from the AG can cause major…


Encryption and Law Enforcement Investigations: Police Access to Encrypted Data

Last month, Apple announced its new end-to-end encryption for data stored by its customers in iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service.  It’s being heralded as “police-proof” in the media.  Read, “Apple Set to Launch New, Police-Proof, Full End-to-End Encryption,” written by the Associated Press and published in the Daily Sabah on December 9, 2022. Apple explains…