Federal drug trafficking charges are very serious offenses. Individuals found guilty of the federal crimes of drug trafficking can face stiff penalties, including long prison sentences, hefty fines, and long and invasive probationary periods. Whenever someone is accused of a federal drug crime such as drug trafficking, it may be in their best interest to seek an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney to ensure that they receive the best representation possible, as well as the fair trial that they deserve.
It was recently reported that 10 individuals were picked up in Portland on multiple federal drug charges in a case that allegedly stretched between California and Oregon. According to authorities, one of the alleged suspects would travel to California to acquire large quantities of cocaine. He then brought the drugs to the Oregon region for distribution. Federal prosecutors claim that the alleged activity took place between April and December of 2013. At least two of the men have already pleaded not guilty.
The majority of the individuals indicted in the conspiracy are accused of being middlemen in the operation. The indictment claims that the group communicated using cell phones and a made up code to organize the drop offs and sales of the cocaine. The federal charges against the group include conspiracy to distribute cocaine, money laundering, possessing of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and felon in possession of a firearm. At least one of the members also has significant priors.
Penalties for drug trafficking charges can range dramatically. In the case above, a conviction could mean a sentence between 10 years to life in jail. When deciding sentences for federal drug crimes the court looks at a number of factors, including the type or schedule of substance involved in the activity, whether or not there were aggravating factors such as violence of presence of a firearm and the criminal histories of the individuals involved in the crime. An experienced attorney may be able to guide the accused through the legal system and help them get the best decision possible.
Source: Oregon Live, “Federal indictment in Portland accuses 10 of cocaine trafficking, money laundering and illegal use of firearms,” Maxine Bernstein, Jan. 15, 2014