- Associated Press - Monday, April 15, 2019

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say they’ve taken apart a western North Carolina drug ring, resulting in 35 charges against eight people.

A news release on Friday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the state’s western district says that a two-year investigation uncovered the Asheville ring trafficking heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription drugs. The prescription pills included strong pain drugs, stimulants used for study aids and benzodiazepine tranquilizers.

Law enforcement officers seized drugs, 12 firearms and more than $150,000 in cash.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute drugs, among other counts.

They range in age from 57 to 25 and come mostly from the Asheville area. One was from Atlanta.

Many of the charges carry penalties starting with five years in prison, and some could carry maximum sentences of life.

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