On Nov. 28, a New York bodybuilder pleaded guilty to a high-level drug charge and holding his wife captive. As a result, he will spend a minimum of 18 years in prison.

In November 2017, the defendant, a 39-year-old resident of DeWitt, was found to be in possession of hundreds of pounds of marijuana and over $3 million worth of cocaine. The drugs were discovered after police responded to a domestic violence incident in which he bound his wife with duct tape and threatened to kill her. His 47-year-old landlord was also taken into custody as a result of the incident, but he was later cleared of all charges and released.

Once the defendant was in custody, he told authorities he was expecting a large drug shipment. Law enforcement officers staked out his residence and were able to seize the delivery. The seizure was touted as the largest cocaine bust in the history of Onondaga County. At the time of his arrest, he had already been under surveillance by federal agents for his alleged role in a marijuana operation that smuggled drugs across the Canadian border. He still faces federal charges for that crime. If convicted, he could face an additional 40 years in prison.

Drug charges could lead to long prison sentences, steep fines and the confiscation of personal property. However, defendants arrested for alleged drug crimes are innocent until proven guilty, and they have the right to mount a vigorous defense against all allegations. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, it may be possible to get the charges dismissed. If the evidence in the case is solid, the attorney could still negotiate a plea deal that reduces the charges and penalties.