The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigates numerous federal drug crimes, often spending months, even years tracking alleged drug traffickers. Once they believe they have gathered enough evidence, federal agents move in and make arrests. In fact, in 2013, the DEA made more than 30,600 arrests. Though that number is slightly less than previous years, it is still a significant number, meaning that, each year, thousands of individuals find themselves facing federal charges.
The amount of drugs seized by the DEA each year is significant. In 2013, the agency took into its possession more than 22,000 kilos of cocaine, 950 kilos of heroin, 250,000 kilos of marijuana, nearly 4,000 kilos of methamphetamine, and slightly more than 116,000 doses of hallucinogens. Though these numbers are high, a seizure of drugs does not necessarily mean an individual who is arrested is guilty of the crime. Instead, depending on the circumstances, an individual could merely be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
However, those who wind up facing a federal drug crime charge have a lot on their plate. Being confronted with the potential for decades behind bars and thousands of dollars in fines can be frightening. The legal process itself can be stressful, as defendants have many decisions to make, and each one could significantly affect the outcome of the case. This is why many individuals who are accused of drug trafficking choose to acquire the assistance of a legal professional.
A legal team experienced at handling federal charges may be extremely beneficial. Though defense decisions are ultimately left to a defendant, legal professionals can help inform and advise accused individuals so that they can make the decisions that they believe will to the fairest outcome possible under the circumstances.
Source: Drug Enforcement Administration, "Statistics & Facts," accessed on Feb. 28, 2015