New York Drug Trafficking Enforcement

If people are dying as a result of drugs being sold, law enforcement redoubles their efforts. When there is publicity because of a batch of heroin being sold that caused death, the authorities react swiftly and fervently.

Often, offer deals are exponentially higher than they would be otherwise if not for the publicity about the deaths of the people who took drugs. An experienced drug trafficking lawyer can help potential clients decide how to proceed when faced with a deal from the prosecution.

Common Charges

The main charge is criminal possession of a controlled substance in various degrees. It can go anywhere from an A-I felony down to a misdemeanor. Another charge is the criminal sale of a controlled substance, which can be a D felony up to an A-I felony. Sale of controlled substances in or near school grounds is also a fairly common charge.

Individuals should be aware that the weight of the drugs determines whether a person faces six months to a year in prison or the rest of their life in prison. They should be aware that violence can also alter the case dramatically. The weight of drugs and the violence associated with them are the two things that can dramatically alter drug trafficking charges.

Involvement of Multiple Defendants

Drug distribution is rarely a solo operation because there are so many different components to dealing drugs. The drugs are brought in from a different place. Someone operates a stash house or handles security. Other people direct the dealers on the street. There are people handling the drug proceeds. There can be as many as 40 people charged in a criminal case relating to drug distribution.

Impact of Multiple Defendants

Multiple defendants in a drug case means there are more possible cooperators. Sometimes in a case with multiple low-level defendants, their lawyers did not work out deals by themselves because they worked out lousy deals that follow up the chain. If the Number 7 person got a bad deal, the Number 6 person who is a little bit worse is not going to get a better deal than that. It is important for the defense lawyers to work together as one to have as much leverage as possible.

In some cases, with multiple defendants, most of the evidence is directed towards the top people on the indictment. People near the bottom are lost in the shuffle and are acquitted because there is not as much evidence directed at them. In addition, when there are many defendants in a case, prosecutors are willing to cut better deals to reduce the size of the case.

Cracking down on Drug Usage

Drugs have been the scourge of society for a long time. As a result, New York redoubled efforts by using confidential informants, cooperating witnesses, physical surveillance, electronic surveillance, and searches and seizures in the fight against illegal drugs. Every day more technology is used to capture and convict drug dealers; even things like cellphones.

The advent of the cellphone has had a huge impact on the ability to arrest and convict people dealing with drugs. A person can be tracked through their cellphone. The authorities can look at who they are calling and texting. People are not talking face-to-face about drug dealing.

Before there were cellular phones, people had to drive to see someone and have a conversation. Nowadays, everybody has a cellphone. It is easy to get a subpoena to look at what they are texting, who they are calling, and where they are going. As technology becomes more advanced, the ability to capture and convict drug dealers becomes easier.

Role of Borders in Trafficking CasesBorders often lead to a federal case when drugs are brought in from other countries. A case can be heard in the Eastern District of New York when the person charged with trafficking was never in New York. Drugs are often flown into airports like JFK and LaGuardia and that opens up the jurisdictional possibility of charging a case there. Drugs coming to the United States from Mexico, Colombia, or other places allow for a larger investigation and even federal criminal charges.