Why would the federal government file a criminal complaint instead of indictment after a state drug case dismissal ?
2 attorney answers
A prosecutor is not required to bring an indictment unless the charge is a felony. However, the complaint is the initial charging instrument and takes place early on in the process. So it's possible your friend has been charged with a federal felony but the prosecutor hasn't yet sought an indictment. Lastly, the dismissal of the State charge does not preclude the Federal government from bringing a complaint.