An indictment is issued by a grand jury to charge someone of committing a serious crime. A grand jury completes a formal investigation, comprising of sworn testimony and physical evidence, before determining if there is probably cause for criminal charges. An indictment is considered to have more weight than a criminal complaint. An arrest takes place after the indictment is issued.
Nine people in Ohio have been indicted for their role in a money-laundering scheme involving shipping marijuana into the state. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the scheme was worth about $2 million and the funds were obtained after the drugs were sent from one state to another. Seven of the nine were also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and one of them was also charged with being a felon in possession of firearms. Two of the accused were also charged on related money laundering charges.
According to authorities, shipments of marijuana began coming into Ohio in 2014 and were sold throughout the northeast. The money stemming from these sales was apparently shipped back to the originating state labeled as computer parts from sham companies in order to hide the identity of the person sending money.
When a prosecutor approaches a grand jury for an indictment, it is generally because he or she has a strong case. As a result, a case that proceeds on the basis of an indictment often goes through the criminal justice system faster. This is why it might be beneficial to consult an experienced defense attorney for guidance if facing criminal charges related to drug crimes in attempt to get ahead of the charges. A strong criminal defense is a necessary step to take when trying to get charges reduced or dismissed.