Federal Drug Trafficking

Federal sentencing for drug trafficking has been legislated since the 1980s. Often individuals will hear about drug trafficking and in their minds will imagine drug dealers or smugglers. Though it is quite common to see drug trafficking crimes committed by dealers, it is possible to face a drug trafficking charge by merely possessing a large quantity of narcotics.

Federal drug crimes carry penalties that have a mandatory prison sentence that many state-level crimes do not. Individuals found in possession of illegal substances can be convicted of a trafficking crime, dependent on the number of drugs found in their possession.

Drug trafficking carries strict penalties, which is expected thanks to Texas’s stringent drug laws. Many offenses carry a lengthy prison sentence upon conviction. Penalties could also increase if the illicit drugs resulted in severe injury or death.

If you have been charged with drug trafficking, it’s vital you contact a knowledgeable attorney immediately.

Attorneys for Federal Drug Trafficking in San Antonio, Texas

Most drug cases rely heavily on physical evidence to convict an individual. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can do whatever possible to suppress that evidence and help you fight your drug charges.

If you have been charged with drug trafficking, call Goldstein & Orr immediately. Our attorneys will manage everything for your case to help clear your name. Our team of defense attorneys have defended those accused of drug crimes on both the state and federal level.

Here at Goldstein & Orr, no case is too small or large for us. We will fight to defend and preserve your innocence using all our available resources. Call (210) 226-1463 to speak with our attorneys and set up a free consultation. We represent clients from San Antonio and across the state of Texas.


Information Overview of Federal Drug Trafficking:


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Is Drug Trafficking a Federal Offense?

Drug trafficking is a serious crime that involves even harsher penalties than drug possession. Drug trafficking can fall under both federal and state laws. Usually, the crime prosecuted in the federal jurisdiction if the offender moves drugs across state lines. Federal charges can be applied to street dealers or large cartels depending on the circumstances of the case.

The penalties for federal drug crimes are enhanced further if the crime crosses state lines or international borders. If either of these factors are proven to be true by the court, the offender will be charged in the federal jurisdiction.

Another way you may face a federal drug trafficking offense is if you are caught trafficking on government property such as a courthouse or federal office building.  You may also face a federal drug trafficking charge if you smuggle drugs through the United States Post Office.


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Drug Schedules

The consequences for drug trafficking vary depending on the type of drug and the amount. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration outlines the penalties for drug trafficking based on the type of drug and amount. These drug groups are classified under the Controlled Substances Act, which lists the drugs under a specific schedule.

  • Schedule 1: High potential of abuse with no accepted medical use. Examples include heroin, marijuana, LSD, PCP, and crack cocaine.
  • Schedule 2: High potential of abuse but accepted medical use. Examples include narcotic, stimulant, and depressant drugs. These drugs are morphine, cocaine, and oxycodone.
  • Schedule 3: A low potential of abuse and has accepted medical use. Examples include codeine, ketamine, and anabolic steroids.
  • Schedule 4: A low potential of abuse and dependence and have accepted medical use. Examples include Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, and Tramadol.
  • Schedule 5: A low potential of abuse and dependency and contains quantities of certain narcotics. Examples include Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and Parepectolin.

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Penalties for Federal Drug Trafficking

Now that you know what type of drugs are listed, you will better understand the penalties for federal drug trafficking. The penalties for these crimes are harsh and can include a mandatory prison sentence. An individual is required to serve the minimum sentence before being released.

Listed below are the threshold amounts of certain drugs that will result in a mandatory prison sentence of 10 years if a person is convicted of manufacturing, selling, distributing, or possessing with the intent to do any of these actions.

  • 1 kilogram or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of heroin.
  • 5 kilograms or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of coca leaves, cocaine, or ecgonine.
  • 280 grams or of a mixture or a substance that contains a cocaine base.
  • 100 grams of PCP or a mixture of one kilogram or more of a detectable amount of PCP.
  • 10 grams or more of a mixture of LSD.
  • 400 grams or more of a mixture of a pure substance containing N-phenyl, propanamide, or 100 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of any analogue of N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidinyl] propanamide
  • 100 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana or having 1,000 or more marijuana plants regardless of their weight
  • 50 grams or more of methamphetamines or 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamines.

A person may receive a mandatory prison sentence of 20 years if death or serious bodily injury occurs. Additionally, an individual could face a fine of $10,000,000 or $50,000,000 if it’s a corporation.

Having a previous drug felony conviction will lead to 15 years, and if death or serious injury occurs, life imprisonment. For an individual with two or more drug felony convictions, the mandatory minimum sentence increases to 25 years. An individual may pay a fine of up to $20,000,000. Anything other than an individual, the cap for the fine is $75,000,000.

A conviction for manufacturing, selling, distributing, or possessing with intent to do any of these actions for any of the following can result in a maximum of 40 years in prison.

  • 100 grams or more of a mixture or substance with heroin
  • 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance with any trace of cocaine, the leave, ecgonine, or any of compounds, preparations, mixtures that contain the quality of substances in this list
  • 28 grams or more of a mixture or substance with a cocaine base
  • 1 gram or more of a mixture of pure LSD
  • 10 grams or more of PCP or 100 grams of a mixture containing PCP
  • 40 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of N-phenyl-N- [ 1- ( 2-phenylethyl ) -4-piperidinyl ] propanamide or 10 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of any analogue of N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidinyl] propenamide
  • 100 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance with cannabis or 100 cannabis plants
  • 5 grams or more of methamphetamines or any of its parts

The court would enhance the sentence to 10 years if the defendant had one prior conviction for a serious drug or violent felony. If serious death or injury occurs, then the sentence will be enhanced to 20 years with a maximum of life in prison. The defendant will also be fined as much as $5,00,000 as an individual or $25,000,000 if the crime is geared towards an entity or corporation.


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Additional Resources

Drug Schedules – Visit the Drug Enforcement Administration website to learn about what drugs fall under what schedule. Understanding the schedule simplifies the understanding of the penalties.

Federal Penalties for Drug Trafficking – The Drug Enforcement Administration displays the federal penalties for drug trafficking. Learn about the various penalties for the several drugs that are commonly trafficked.


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Attorney for Federal Drug Trafficking in San Antonio, Texas

Being charged with a federal crime is serious, and you must take charge by contacting the proper attorney for your case. Here at Goldstein & Orr, we will take on your case, no matter how big or small. If you have been charged with federal drug trafficking, look no further than Goldstein & Orr.

Our attorneys have years of experience with federal and state crimes. We accept clients throughout San Antonio and Bexar County including, Terrell Hills, Selma, Shavano Park, Windcrest, and Alamo Heights. Call us at (210) 226-1463 for your free consultation.

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