As the war on drugs commenced in the 1980s and the criminal justice system began to clog with low-level drug cases, significant court delays and other problems developed. Philadelphia was home to one of the early drug court programs that reduced the days required for processing a case and increased annual case dispositions. Drug courts…
Philadelphia Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney
Aggressively Defending against Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
The federal government takes all unlawful drug-related activity very seriously. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 governs federal drug crimes, and Title II of this law is commonly called the Controlled Substances Act. Many federal agencies are tasked with the enforcement of this law, including the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Federal investigators from these agencies can make arrests and turn evidence over to federal prosecutors who decide whether to issue charges. You can bet the government will use all possible resources to try to apprehend, convict, and penalize individuals involved in drug trafficking operations. No one in the federal criminal justice system will go easy on you or do you any favors. They are not on your side, so you need an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer who is.
At Wimmer Criminal Defense Law, we stand behind defendants facing a wide variety of criminal charges, including federal drug trafficking charges. We know how to protect your rights through every step of an investigation and criminal case. It is critical to have the right representation in these situations, so please don’t wait to call our office today.
Drug Trafficking Allegations
Drug trafficking can involve many different activities regarding narcotics and other controlled substances. Any of the following acts may lead to charges:
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Conspiracy to distribute
If a certain amount of drugs is involved, it can trigger drug trafficking charges.
Drug trafficking indictments can also include a variety of additional federal charges, which can include:
- Conspiracy – If someone was not actively involved in the trafficking crimes, they can face conspiracy charges if prosecutors believe they helped to plan the crimes.
- Firearms offenses – Often, individuals who are transporting, distributing, or selling drugs or who are otherwise actively involved in a trafficking operation will carry a firearm. Possessing or using a firearm during a drug trafficking offense can lead to additional charges and enhanced prison sentences by ten years or more.
- Money laundering – Drug trafficking schemes can make extraordinary profits. However, traffickers cannot simply deposit these funds in a bank, as they must account for the source of any deposits of $10,000 or more. Therefore, trafficking operations often involve complex money laundering schemes to use the profits while masking the illegal source of the money.
- RICO violations – In many cases, drug trafficking cartels are viewed as organized crime syndicates. For this reason, investigators and prosecutors often look to evidence that may allow charges for racketeering under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law. In order for such charges to apply, prosecutors must be able to prove there was a criminal enterprise, as well as that the enterprise engaged in at least two specified criminal offenses within ten years, which include drug trafficking and money laundering. If a RICO violation is alleged, prosecutors can charge anyone involved in the enterprise.
Some or all of the above charges will commonly accompany drug trafficking allegations, adding potential penalties to a conviction. A skilled federal criminal defense attorney will know how to defend against each individual charge involved in a particular case, limiting the possible consequences as much as possible.
Penalties for Federal Drug Trafficking Convictions
Like any other type of drug offense, the penalties for drug trafficking can vary depending on both the type of drug that was found and the quantity. The following are only some of the possible penalties for drug trafficking:
- A first offense for trafficking any of the following can mean five to 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine for individuals or a $25 million fine for more than one person =
- 500 to 4999 grams of cocaine
- 100 to 999 grams of heroin
- 10 to 99 grams of fentanyl analogue
- 50 to 499 grams of methamphetamine mixture
- 100 to 999 grams of PCP mixture
- A first offense for trafficking any of the following can mean ten years to life in federal prison and a $10 million fine for individuals or a $50 million fine for more than one person =
- Five kilograms or more of cocaine
- One kilogram or more of heroin
- 100 grams or more of fentanyl analogue
- 500 grams or more of methamphetamine mixture
- One kilogram or more of PCP mixture
- A first offense for trafficking any of the following can mean up to 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine for individuals or a $5 million fine for more than one person = Any other amount of Schedule I or II substances
- A first offense for trafficking any of the following can mean up to 10 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine for individuals or a $2.5 million fine for more than one person = Any amount of Schedule III substances
- A first offense for trafficking any of the following can mean up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for individuals or a $1 million fine for more than one person = Any amount of Schedule IV substances
- A first offense for trafficking any of the following can mean up to one year in federal prison and a $100,000 million fine for individuals or a $250,000 fine for more than one person = Any amount of Schedule V substances
The above penalties can increase substantially if you have a prior offense or if anyone was injured or killed during the commission of the drug trafficking offense.
Discuss Your Charges with a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia
Drug trafficking charges are serious, and prosecutors often have a lot of evidence from long-term federal investigations into drug cartel activity. It is critical to have the right attorney on your side throughout the entire federal criminal process. Wimmer Criminal Defense Law can help if you are under investigation or have been arrested and charged. Call 215-712-1212 or contact us online to learn how we may help today.
If you are facing a potential Federal Drug Trafficking charge
The criminal defense attorneys of Wimmer Criminal Defense may be able to provide representation during proceedings. To schedule a free and confidential case review, call today