Federal Drug Crime Defense Team
Our lawyers are experienced in the areas of criminal law for both the state and the federal government. The purpose of our firm is to provide the best legal defense for our clients in reference to all criminal matter.
Criminal Cocaine Investigations Can Be Complex.
Our firm understands the important value of federal cocaine trafficking laws and seeks the best possible solution for our clients. When the government starts to investigate for federal drug charges, you want a legal team that will go the distance.
Cocaine Trafficking is a One Hundred Billion Dollar Industry
The eighties were the very beginning of federal cocaine trafficking. Drug dealers, gangs and cartels made millions of dollars in federal cocaine trafficking.
The federal government passed laws in the eighties that helped to curtail some of the activity. In the last ten years, federal cocaine trafficking had increased tremendously. As more states start to pass legislation that makes marijuana legal.
This impacts the bottom dollars for those who had been making money from marijuana. The legal status of marijuana has meant a major decrease in the income for drug entrepreneurs. In the spirit of increasing their bottom dollar, drug dealers are turning more and more to cocaine trafficking.
Define Federal Drug Trafficking
Federal Drug Trafficking has been defined as the selling, transporting, and illegal importation of illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs. All drugs have a special classification. Drug are classified according to the 21 U.S. C. §812 for the Schedule of Controlled Substances. Federal law has drug divided into what is called “schedule.”
The Five Schedules
Each classification is determined by the potential of abuse and dependency on drugs in comparison to their therapeutic or medical value. Each drug has a specific penalty based on the amount as outlined in the schedule.
Cocaine is Schedule II
One reason why cocaine is a Schedule II drug is that the abuse of the drug has been known to lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. In essence, cocaine has some addictive qualities which can lead a person to physical or psychological dependence.
One of the reasons why there is “war on drug” is that the nature of cocaine impacts not only the user but those that are closely associated with them. The overall impact of cocaine trafficking will impair the quality of our communities.
State charges are mainly for “possession.”
Distribution, or “trafficking,” refers to the fact that a person is providing controlled substances or delivering them illegally.
“Trafficking has more to do with the sale and distribution, the number of drugs that a person has, and the fact that the drugs are crossing state lines.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) are responsible for enforcing the laws related to drug offenses for the federal government. These agencies work together to combat the drugs that infiltrate our communities.
The DEA’s number one goal is to rid the streets of drugs in order to make our communities safe. The DEA and FBI partner with other local and federal agencies to make a thorough investigation, arrest the appropriate party while maintaining justice for all. Their goal is to stop the abuse and distribution of drugs that destroy families and our communities.
Amount of Drugs Will Impact Your Sentence
The number of drugs for drug trafficking will have an impact on the overall sentencing. The exact amount can make a difference between a short sentence or a long sentence in federal prison.
How Authorities Use Social Media
Using a cell phone and social media are many of the tools that the federal agencies used in their apprehension of drug traffickers. Social media is full of information about habits and practices regarding many of the drug activities. For example, if a person has more than 5 kg of cocaine, one would possibly get at least 10 years or possible life in person.
The law enforcement when making an investigation will look at the amount of the drugs and the circumstance to determine if there was an intent to distribute the drug. Some factors such as scales, baggies and large amounts of cash are prime indicators or possible evidence of the intent to sell or distribute the drug in order to make a case for the drug trafficking charge.
Penalties for Cocaine Trafficking
Penalties for cocaine trafficking can be severe. The punishment for cocaine trafficking will drastically impact the community.
Federal Sentencing Guidelines
The federal sentence guideline provides that a “drug trafficking offense” as “an offense under federal, state, or local law that prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) or the possession of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute, or dispense.” U.S.S.G. § 2L1.2(b)(1).
Penalties for Cocaine Possession
For parties engaged in cocaine trafficking, one should expect real federal time if they are convicted. Federal cocaine possession is no cake walk.
For example, the possession of 500 grams or more of powder cocaine carries a sentence of five years in prison which is the minimum.
If the defendant has over five kilograms the required mandatory minimum is 10 years.
Possession of Crack May Carry An Even Harsher Penalty
If a person has 28 grams of crack, the minimum sentence is 5 years.
The possession of 280 grams of crack cocaine carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
Federal prisons are a lot different from any state prison because they have sentencing guidelines. The sentences guidelines will take into account the actual account of the circumstance of the crime.
The fines for cocaine trafficking can be as high as $250,000.00.
Factors That Impact Sentencing
There are factors that impact the possible sentencing of the defendant for the cocaine trafficking which consists of the following:
- The exact location of the defendant’s arrest;
- The type of drug and amount;
- Prior convictions of the defendant.
Probation is a possible option in reference to a conviction for cocaine trafficking. In most cases for probation, it is offered if you do not have any prior conviction. One of the criteria associated with probation is a plea bargain for an agreement of guilt or a lesser crime. The time frame for probation can vary from 12 to 36 months. This is also dependent on the number of drugs in your possession.
Probation has stringent guidelines, so it is not for the faint of heart. A probation officer is assigned to the Defendant. The Defendant will have a list of rules to follow. The slightest deviation from the rules can be costly. If a person does not follow the rules of probation, revocation is possible which means going to prison.
Sentencing Enhancement Guidelines
Another factor to be considered in the penalties are an enhancement. The enhancement means that the punishment may be more severe. Enhancement may mean that the defendant may be ordered to go to a rehabilitation center or community service.
United States Sentencing Commission (“USSC”.)
Some of the reasons why cocaine trafficking sentences are enhanced are because statistics show 18% of the offender were in possession of a weapon and 7.6% had a leadership role in the drug offense as reported by the United States Sentencing Commission (“USSC”.)
The USSC reports that the average prison time is about 66 months. The severity of enhancement could mean a life sentence especially if you are a repeat offender.
Cocaine Trafficking Enhanced punishment factors may consist of the following :
- Place where the drugs were sold or distributed such as near a school or specifically zone area
- Drugs were sold to minors
- If the minors were used to distribute the substance
Mandatory sentences is a wow factor to consider for federal cocaine trafficking conviction. If you compare it to state crimes, there are laws. However, the court, the defense team, and the prosecutor have some discretion in terms of the sentencing.
As the term mandatory implies, there is a minimum amount of time that was one has to serve for the federal cocaine trafficking. For instance, a conviction of federal cocaine trafficking with a 10-year sentence means a minimum of 3 years that must be served. The presiding judge does not have any discretion to change it like in other state cases.
This means that the defendant must serve three years no matter what. Federal cocaine trafficking prison confinement is not the only catalyst that will impact one’s life.
Sentencing for federal cocaine trafficking can be complex. There is a possibility of a sentence reduction. The sentence reduction is provided under 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(2).
Under the modification for the proposed term of sentence, a court may modify a term of imprisonment as provided by 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(2) which states:
- Extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant a reduction;
- You are at least 70 years old, have served at least 30 years in prison, and are not a danger to any other person or the community; or
- The sentencing range for the offense you were convicted of has been lowered by the Sentencing Commission.
Sentence Reduction Guidelines
The sentence reduction guidelines are essential if one has received a harsh sentence. Sometimes in life there are no second chances, there may be hope after all in a sentence reduction.
It is possible to have the sentence reduced if the criteria’s are maintained. For example, if a person has been in prison for over 30 years, a modification may be warranted. A reduction in the sentence may mean less time in prison.
Impact of Federal Cocaine Trafficking Conviction
The impact of a conviction of federal cocaine trafficking is not only prison time and fines. A felony conviction for federal cocaine trafficking may impact your future employment, scholarship opportunities, and professional licenses. If you have a business, the federal prosecutor may get a temporary restraining order to shut down the business because of a public safety concern.
The Key Criteria In Closing A Business
The key criteria in closing a business that is drug-related may be the danger to the general welfare of the community. Once a defendant is convicted, the government will attempt to forfeit any personal or real property related to the violation.
This means that the government may seize all houses, cars, boats, jewelry, art and any other personal property. This is done usually through a forfeiture proceeding. The Defendant will have a right to protest the government’s action. This is a process which is why the Defendant will need a good Criminal Defense Attorney to fight this battle against the government.
Additional consequences for the violation of federal cocaine trafficking laws is the denial of government benefits. One will not truly appreciate government benefits until they are denied. Federal benefits may include grants, school loans, and contracts.
The denial of federal benefits for federal cocaine trafficking could be up to five-year for a first conviction. The second conviction will carry a denial of benefits for 10 years. A third conviction will result in the permanent denial of government benefits. The conviction of federal cocaine trafficking will impact the defendant’s quality of life.
Best Defense Is A Good Criminal Defense
Federal Cocaine Trafficking is a criminal offense that requires a good Criminal Defense Attorney. Our attorneys can provide the quality of services to assist in any criminal investigation.
Federal crimes need the expertise of our Criminal Defense Attorneys which provide:
- Quality Investigation of cases for clients
- Works diligently to reach the best possible outcome
- Dedication to see the case through from the beginning to trial if necessary.
Do Not Delay Seeking Help From A Criminal Defense Attorney.
Today is the best day to give us a call so that your mind can be at peace because of the skills and expertise of our Criminal Defense Team. You will be so glad that you did.
Please call us today.
We look forward to working with you.
 Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Trafficking Penalties, Retrieved from