Whenever a public servant is accused of a crime, people are quick to criticize and demonize him or her, even before any evidence that supports a criminal charge is discovered. Because of this intense pressure on public servants to remain perfect in the eyes of public, some people may find it easier to just plead guilty than to face an overly harsh jury.
It may have been this pressure that forced a former Minneapolis firefighter to plead guilty to cocaine distribution. The firefighter did have an attorney before he appeared in front of the U.S. District Court judge in Minneapolis and it is important that anyone charged with or considering pleading guilty to drug conspiracy charges confer with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney can provide invaluable insight into how a jury may perceive a suspect, the charges or the facts. He or she may also be able to craft a variety of different options other than going through a trial.
The 34-year-old former firefighter was accused of participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine between 2009 and 2011. According to KSTP 5 News, the man had dealt with between 15 and 50 kilograms of cocaine, which resulted in a single charge of conspiracy to distribute 5 or more kilograms of cocaine.
Another firefighter who remains on administrative leave from the Minneapolis Fire Department has also been charged with methamphetamine possession and distribution. He has yet to go to trial, but is expected to appear before a judge within two weeks.
Being charged with a drug crime is extremely difficult, but it is even worse for a public servant. The amount of media coverage and public scrutiny can sometimes be overwhelming.
Source: KSTP 5 News, “Minneapolis Firefighter Pleads Guilty in Drug Case,” Mark Albert, April 2, 2012