The criminal penalties for federal drug crimes in the United States depend on a number of factors, such as the purpose or intended use of the substance, the amount of the illegal substance, the type of substance and other mitigating and aggravating factors. The penalty structure for federal drug crimes are set out in Chapter 21 of the United States Code, and are promulgated by the United States Sentencing Commission.
Twenty individuals were indicted on federal drug trafficking charges. The charges stem from an alleged conspiracy to transport and distribute methamphetamine from California to Boise, Idaho. The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, and that one or more of them traveled between Idaho and California with the intent to distribute the proceeds.
The defendants were indicted on 89 counts including conspiracy to distribute, possession with the intent to distribute, interstate transportation in aid of racketeering and the use of a communication device in a drug trafficking crime. If convicted of conspiring to distribute, due to the amount of the substance involved, the individuals face a minimum prison sentence of 10 to life in prison and up to five years supervised release.
According to the federal sentencing guidelines, a statutory federal sentencing range between 10 years to life in prison is applicable to all federal drug offenses that involve a minimum of 50 grams of Methamphetamine or 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine mixture or substance.
Due to the potential harsh penalties of federal drug trafficking convictions, people charged with such crimes should do their best to put up a strong defense. It is important that these individuals ensure that the government proves its case and that the defendant's rights are protected.
Source: KiviTv, "Twenty Boise area residents indicted on meth trafficking charges," Steve Bertel, May 29, 2013