When most people hear the words “Drug Trafficking” the immediate image that comes to mind is a shipment of crates, perhaps in the back of a small van, filled with hundreds of pounds of marijuana or cocaine. Unfortunately, the crime is far more simple than that. It really just has to do with the amount of drugs a person possesses. In fact, it never has to be sold or transported anywhere.
In addition, the amount is not nearly as much as most people would imagine. For example, trafficking in hydrocodone (Vicodin) requires the State to prove that an individual was in possession of 14 grams. This equals about 23 pills. So if you needed pain relief and borrowed your mother’s pills, you may be guilty of trafficking in drugs. And as an individual charged with this offense you will be facing a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison, in addition to a $50,000.00 fine.
What is more troublesome, even if you are in fact illegally dealing in drugs is the way the police go about catching the criminals and ignoring the big drug dealers. Most times, a confidential informant is involved (CI). This individual is almost always facing criminal charges of their own. They also are usually taking advantage of their status as a CI by engaging in illegal activity of their own while feeding any information to police that will keep them out of jail – whether it is true or not. The local police almost never have written contracts with these individuals, so it becomes a win-win situation for the police if the guy doesn’t help them. Most likely it is a temporary win-lose situation for the snitch. Although confidential informants can be helpful in apprehending a drug dealer, the quality of local jailhouse snitch is usually minimal and only gets another low level drug dealer or drug addict.
The real drug dealers appear to be the pharmaceutical companies who can dispense pain killers to doctors with no regard for the epidemic they have caused. If the doctors choose to be unethical by prescribing insane amounts of pills to individuals who don’t need them, they in fact are the traffickers. Ability to control and dispense that volume of pills appears to fit the definition of “trafficking in drugs” that most comes to mind.
The heavy sentences should be reserved for those types of criminals, not the sleazy kid who borrowed mom’s pills. After all, they will just turn into sleazy CI’s who catch other sleazy pillheads. The only thing that perpetuates is a full County Jail – which Joe Taxpayer has to cover! Call our experienced New Port Richey criminal defense attorneys to evaluate your case.