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Investigation into illegal fish selling leads to drugs

California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel who were investigating an illegal fish trafficking scheme discovered drugs and counterfeit money when they searched two Fresno homes. Two men were taken into custody on Dec. 8 as a result.

The two men had allegedly used unauthorized bait to catch fish and then sold the fish for substantial profits. The department reported that the pair had been cited six times in the past two years for various fish violations. Authorities searched the residences of the two men on Dec. 8. While doing so, investigators reportedly found thousands of dollars worth of counterfeit money, marijuana and methamphetamine.

Investigators reported that minor children were present in both of the homes and that the drugs and a firearm were within the children's reach. Both men were released on bail after their arrests. The two men are facing misdemeanor marijuana possession charges, felony possession of meth with intent to sell charges and child endangerment charges.

Drug possession charges may be upgraded to more serious drug trafficking charges when it appears that the defendants had the intent to distribute the illegal drugs, and the penalties can be severe if a conviction is obtained. People who are charged with these types of drug offenses might want to get help from a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney may find constitutional problems with the manner in which a search and seizure were conducted. If that is the case, the attorney may then draft and file evidentiary motions to try to get the evidence suppressed. If this strategy is successful, it could result in a dismissal of the charges.

Source: ABC 30, "Illegal fish trafficking bust leads to drugs, counterfeit money in Fresno," Cory James, Dec. 9, 2016

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