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Man sentenced to life in prison for heroin says he's innocent

On Sept. 14, a man in Ohio was sentenced to life in prison after maintaining his innocence throughout the entire trial. The 33-year-old man is accused of acting as the leader of a heroin-trafficking ring in a notoriously dangerous section of Cleveland's East Side. The man is one of 60 people who were issued federal indictments in 2013 after an investigation called Operation Fox Hound.

Authorities working on Operation Fox Hound reportedly used undercover buys and wiretaps to obtain information about the accused man and his alleged accomplices. While stating that he never dealt heroin, the defendant repeatedly questioned the validity of the prosecutions' evidence during the trial. In June, a jury found the man guilty of conspiring to possess and sell heroin and use a communication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking offense. After his sentencing hearing, the man told his relatives that he plans to appeal the convictions.

Of the 60 people who were indicted in Operation Fox Hound, 58 have been convicted of their charges. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office said that the two people who were not convicted have not yet been taken into police custody. The alleged drug trafficking gang is accused of stealing heroin from rival drug dealers and then selling it at below-market prices.

A criminal defense attorney may be able to help a person who has been accused of selling heroin to build a strong defense. An attorney may begin by filing motions to suppress key pieces of evidence that the prosecution is basing their case on. If there is little evidence about a defendant's ties to an alleged criminal gang, an attorney may argue for reduced charges by disputing the prosecution's claims about a gang connection.

Source: Cleveland.com, "Cleveland heroin trafficker gets life in prison," Eric Heisig, Sept. 14, 2015

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