Drug Trafficking Penalties That An Individual Can Be Charged With

Interstate drug trafficking is a problem that occurs globally. It is a global illegal trade that includes the manufacturing, distribution, cultivation, and sale of illicit substances that are subject to the law. Drug trafficking charges are often charged to any person involved in the trade of drugs. Interstate drug trafficking penalties have the potential of getting harsh penalties such as expensive fines and lifetime prison sentences.

Drug trafficking is also referred to as drug distribution. It is a crime involving transporting, selling, or importing illegal controlled substances. These substances include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and other illicit substances. Drug trafficking charges also apply to a case where there is an illegal trade involving prescription drugs. Prescription drugs can be abused if used outside the prescribed use of a licensed doctor or pharmacist. The abuse of prescription drugs has increased in recent years.

Issues Surrounding The Crime

Criminal networks across the globe can “traffic” various ranges of drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and cannabis. Some international borders have become lax in patrolling illegal drugs, which gave more access for the drug trade to proliferate. The proliferation of international trade was made possible by the underground trade by drug producers, growers, suppliers, couriers, and dealers. It undermines a country’s economic and political stability. It also ruins the lives of many families and damages communities. Most of the time, the end-users who turned into addicts are the victims of this manipulative illegal trade.

Drug trafficking charges are usually linked to other forms of crimes. The routes where the trafficking occurs can also be used by various criminal networks to transport their illicit products. Criminals have become more creative in devising ways to disguise their illegal trade and transport it. This leads law enforcement to have difficulties in detecting concealed drugs. Additionally, new synthetic drugs are regularly produced. Law enforcers must be aware of the new products or trends in the market to stay ahead of the curb.

The Nature of Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking charges are similar or related to drug possession charges. The reason is that the perpetrator possesses an illicit substance. This means that a person cannot engage in drug trafficking while he or she is unaware that they are possessing an illegal drug. It is also impossible for someone to “traffic” a drug without knowing that the substance he or she is trading is illegal. This means a drug trafficking charge may also involve a drug possession charge.

Nonetheless, drug trafficking needs a prosecutor to prove that the accused was involved in the transport, sale, or importation of illegal drugs. The prosecutor also needs to prove that the perpetrator intended to deliver or sell drugs. This is an additional requirement that elevates the crime’s status to a felony charge.

Since the possession or trafficking charges may look similar at first, the prosecution for trafficking usually needs more circumstantial evidence that indicates that a defendant possesses drugs not only for personal use but for commercial trade as well. The evidence may include the scale of the arrest or the presence of other paraphernalia such as business cards or bags. A prosecutor can also show that the accused possessed a large amount of cash or had records of the drug purchases. The court may also rely on witnesses who either sold or bought drugs from the defendant. Witnesses who may know the defendant’s activities can be allowed to provide testimonies as well.

Drug Trafficking Penalties

Drug trafficking is a serious crime. It receives harsher penalties than a mere drug possession charge. It is a charge that is criminalized in both state and federal laws. It is usually prosecuted under federal law when the accused moves drugs across various state lines. Drug trafficking charges might be applied to large drug cartels or even street dealers but the interstate trafficking penalties may vary depending on the defendant’s scale of operation and the other type of drugs that were being trafficked.

The defendant might face imprisonment of three to 10 years with fines over $100,000 for trafficking marijuana. However, the defendant may face 25 years in prison with fines running up to $500,000 if convicted for heroin trafficking. The sentences might be higher if other factors called enhancements are present in the case. An example of an “enhancement” circumstance is if the trade occurred near a school.

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