In the past year, we have written about several major drug busts by law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin. These busts often come at the end of months of investigation and usually involve dozens of arrests in a short period of time.

According to police in Fond du Lac, a major drug investigation is nearing an end and has already resulted in 31 arrests with another 11 suspects still being sought. In all, over 40 people have been accused of suspected drug crimes or drug-related activity.

The captain of the Fond du Lac Police Department said: “We have not had a drug enforcement operation of this magnitude that I can recall here in Fond du Lac where we took so many people into custody on drug warrants.” He added that many of the cases have been under investigation for a long period of time.

Of the 31 suspects arrested so far, 20 have already made initial court appearances. The various charges include possession of drugs and/or controlled substances, drug delivery and manufacturing, maintaining a drug trafficking place, and possession of drug paraphernalia, among others.

As we have previously written, law enforcement agencies tend to cast a very wide net when busting an alleged drug operation. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to assume that at least a few innocent individuals have been wrongly arrested or implicated.

Prosecutors may also try to overcharge minor players in an attempt to make a bigger case with bolder headlines. At the very least, the chaos that comes with dozens of simultaneous arrests can make it much more difficult for everyone to separate facts from mere allegations.

Hopefully, each of the defendants in this case will seek the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney who can make sure their rights are protected and that they receive the fair trial they deserve.

Source: fdlreporter.com, “20 appear in court on local drug charges,” Colleen Kottke, Dec. 16, 2011