The charge of drug distribution applies to the act of selling, transporting, and the illegal import of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine’s, heroin, and other controlled substances as well as the illegal distribution of prescription drugs like pain killers and sleeping pills. Considered a felony charge, drug distribution often comes with extensive prison terms and extremely heavy fines levied against anyone that is convicted of this offense. According to Legal Info,
“If you are found in possession of drugs, you could be charged with drug trafficking… If you are found with a large amount of drugs or cash at the time of your arrest, it is likely you will be facing drug distribution charges.”
Weight of the Charge Depends on Quantity
Both trafficking and distribution charges can vary depending on how much of the substance is in your possession at the time of arrest. The more you have the higher the charge. In addition, if it can be proven that your intentions were to market the drugs to minors, the penalties can be quite severe.
Examples of Drug Distribution Cases:
- March 25th, 2014 – Bobby Nelson Gulley and his girlfriend Helen Louise Adkins both pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin, while another woman Anna Lynn Mattison confessed to providing an apartment for storage and distribution of heroin and oxycodone.
- March 19th, 2014 – Four people were sentenced in Arkansas for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine. The sentences ranged from a prison term of 210 months without the possibility of parole to 46 months in prison without possibility of parole.
- March 19th, 2014 – Three people were arrested and booked into the Purgatory County Residence on drug distribution charges after Washington Country Drug Task Force detectives conducted multiple controlled buys. The accused sold methamphetamine and heroin and face felony theft, felony possession of drugs and distribution of a controlled substance.
- January 4th, 2013 – Marvin Lee Ellis and Vernon Brown were convicted in federal court of one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, three counts of distributing crack cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and one count of maintaining a residence for use in drug trafficking. Brown was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute powder and crack cocaine; all in all their part amounted to a $28 million cocaine trafficking ring. Both men used couriers to transport cocaine and marijuana from Mexico to the Kansas City area.
- December 20th, 2013 – Indictments for six people were handed down on drug related charges. One of the six, Keith Cloudy was charged with nine counts of distribution of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm in a furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The estimated total value of the confiscated evidence amounted to around $20,000.
- December 11th, 2013 – Edward R. Ramos, from Reading, Pennsylvania, was charged with two counts of possession with the intent to distribute drugs and one count of the possession of drug paraphernalia. Police collected 45 bundles with 10 baggies each of packaged heroin as well as 20 grams of raw, unpackaged heroin, along with more than one ounce of marijuana and two handguns from a home in Mechanicsburg. They also confiscated a large amount of drug paraphernalia, which included two syringes and packaging materials.
- November 25th, 2013 – Willie Williams, Jr. pleaded guilty in Halifax County Circuit Court to charges of marijuana distribution and cocaine distribution. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for each cocaine charge and a five year suspended term for marijuana distribution.
- November 15th, 2013 – A former FBI informant Theresa Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and to aiding and abetting. Her son, Samuel Flores Jr. was also arrested on an indictment alleging he was dealing methamphetamine in San Antonio.
- October 19th, 2013 – David Paul Peralta II was arrested and booked on two second-degree felony weapon offenses, one second-degree drug distribution offense, and three misdemeanors related to drug possession and littering.
- July 16th, 2013 – Stephanie Lima confessed to getting a prescription from a doctor in New Jersey for Oxycodone painkillers and then resold them to Charles Hall III. Hall pleaded guilty to extortion and drug distribution charges and Lima was sentenced to six months of home confinement and three years probation.
The penalties for a drug distribution charge will vary depending on the amount of controlled substances in the plaintiff’s possession as well as the location of the transaction. As explained on the site Find Law,
“Those convicted on drug possession charges face a wide gamut of penalties at sentencing, varying from state to state. Penalties for simple possession range from a fine of less than $100 and/or a few days in jail to thousands of dollars and several years in state prison for the same offense.”
While they may vary from one state to another, federal lawmakers have established mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for drug offenses in an effort to target high-level distributors. These penalties are determined by the type of drug, the weight of the drug and the number of prior convictions an individual may have. These mandatory minimums can cause major damage to a person’s life if he falls into one of those categories as reported in the Business Insider,
“46-year-old fast food restaurant worker John Horner was sentenced to 25 years in prison for selling $1,800 worth of painkillers. Sadly, the father of three is just one example of a drug addict put away for decades because of a mandatory minimum sentence.”
Clearly, if anyone is convicted of drug distribution charges or any other type of illegal drug activity he is facing dire circumstances. Those who are in those situations may be compelled to lose much of their lives if not all of it behind bars for even the smallest of infractions. It is important that those who are facing such accusations seek professional help as soon as possible in order to ensure that their rights are protected and they are afforded every opportunity under the law to maintain their freedom.