Drug Trafficking

Drug Trafficking

Ever since President Nixon declared a war on drugs in June 1971, drug trafficking offenses have been among the most severely punished crimes in the country. Nixon advocated mandatory sentencing and barrier-free warrants, and this unyielding approach remains in effect 45 years later, with drug-related arrests on the rise and longer prison sentences imposed upon conviction.

Drug trafficking is the possession and distribution of large quantities of illegal substances. Because it is often prosecuted at the federal level, penalties are typically more severe than for state drug crimes, with significant mandatory minimums imposed.

Drug trafficking penalties

Drug trafficking offenses violate the CSA, or Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA puts controlled substances into categories known as schedules. The most dangerous drugs, which typically have no known medical use, fall into Schedule I. Schedule V, the lowest degree, includes higher concentrations of drugs like codeine (more than 200mg per 100g) and stimulants like Pyrovalerone.

Trafficking in Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, such as cocaine, fentanyl, LSD, and PCP, is punishable by a mandatory 10-year prison sentence upon conviction. Drugs that fall into these categories are highly addictive and have a significant potential for abuse. Trafficking charges for Schedules III, IV, and V drugs could result in a one to five-year prison sentence and up to $500,000 in fines for a first offense.

Under 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(a) and 960(b)(1) trafficking the drugs above in the minimum listed quantities can send you to prison from 10 years to life.

  •     50g of methamphetamine
  •     280g of cocaine base
  •     One kilogram of heroin
  •     Five kilograms of powdered cocaine
  •     1,000 kilograms of marijuana

21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(b) and 960(b)(1)(2) call for a sentence of five to 40 years in a federal prison upon conviction of trafficking the drugs below in the following quantities:

  •     5g of methamphetamine
  •     28g of cocaine base
  •     100g of heroin
  •     500g of powdered cocaine
  •     100 kilograms of marijuana

If you have been charged with drug trafficking in New York (or believe that you are about to be), then it is imperative that you hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in defending federal drug charges. Your attorney will go over your case and determine whether or not the evidence against you was illegally obtained or you gave incriminating statements that were coerced or in violation of your Miranda rights. They may also be able to prove that you were only guilty of a possession offense or that the drugs found in your possession were placed there without your knowledge.

Being accused of drug trafficking puts your future and your freedom at serious risk. You want to hire an attorney with a proven ability to defend these charges; one who knows how to file detailed motions in an effort to exclude and/or suppress evidence, and potentially dismiss charges. With a strong and experienced advocate fighting for your rights, your chances of recovering from a devastating mistake are highly improved.