Drug Trafficking — Father of Slain College Football Player Charged
Drug trafficking is a constant problem in many areas of the United States. Law enforcement professionals work to keep communities free from illegal sales of drugs, especially those that can commonly cause fatal overdoses. Yet a constant supply of drugs continues to occur, creating a high risk of individuals becoming not just at risk of an overdose but also accessing drugs that cause addiction.
A Father Charged with Trafficking
One example of a recent effort by law enforcement to crack down on drug trafficking occurred in Lee County, Alabama. Mario Lateef Mitchell, the father of a slain Auburn University football player, was taken into custody. Law enforcement had spent some time investigating the man and occurrences of drug trafficking in the area.
The ongoing investigation resulted in police pulling over a 2016 Mercedes S550 sedan. Mitchell, who was driving the vehicle, was stopped by Opelika police. He was then taken to jail and booked on drug trafficking charges. Police found 11 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle, along with two handguns, two rifles and $35,000 in cash.
The case remains under investigation. However, that investigation has been going on for some time. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office worked alongside the Lanett Police Department, Chambers County Sheriff’s Office and Valley Police Department on that matter. News reports indicate that additional arrests are likely in the case, though details were not clear on this.
Mitchell was charged with trafficking and booked at the Lee County Detention Center. He was able to post a $50,000 bond and be released.
Auburn Student’s Death
It is also important to this story to point out Mitchell’s son’s death, though police have not linked the two instances to each other. On December 14, 2014, Jakell Mitchell was fatally shot in an apartment parking lot. He was a freshman at the school and a football player. Reports indicate he was shot after getting into a verbal confrontation with people at Tiger Lodge Apartments. Markale Hart was charged with his murder and, after an initial mistrial, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was given a 10-year sentence. The goal of the plea agreement was to help spare his family from having to go through another trial.
Drug Trafficking Occurrences in the U.S.
There is no doubt that illegal sales of illicit drugs continue to take place across the United States. In the case of marijuana, it is estimated that, in 2016, the black market for marijuana sales topped tens of billions of dollars. According to Arcview Market Research, this black market had grown by 87 percent in 2016. And that market is capturing an estimated $46.4 billion, as reported by Inc.
Drug trafficking occurs in such high levels because people who have addictions are simply unable to just stop using those drugs. Yet they have difficulty finding those substances to keep their addictions met. What’s more, individuals who recognize this are benefiting from it, such as is the case with Mitchell.
Though in this case the drug being trafficked is marijuana, there has been a significant uptick in heroin and prescription opioid sales. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that prescription opioid abuse is a deadly threat, noticing that illegal drug trafficking of the substances continues to create deadly outcomes for those who are using.
Seeking Help for Those with Addiction
Drug trafficking is a significant problem for those who are facing addiction. This type of access to illicit and dangerous drugs can create life-threatening consequences for those who are trying to find their drug of choice. Yet there is help available in these cases. FHE Health works closely with individuals facing drug addiction, including those who may have been charged with a crime. We encourage you to contact our offices today to learn more about the supportive services available to you that could help you avoid ongoing drug addiction.