What is Drug Trafficking?

Texas is strict when it comes to drug crimes. The state takes a no-nonsense approach to these crimes. Even a small amount of certain drugs can lead to felony charges.

One common type of drug crime is drug trafficking. Drug trafficking refers to the transportation and transaction of illegal substances. Drug trafficking means you intend to sell or distribute controlled substances across state or national lines. Drug trafficking often involves large-scale operations, although it is possible for smaller groups to be arrested and charged with drug trafficking as well. In fact, if you are caught with large quantities of drugs in your possession, you could be charged with drug trafficking based on that fact alone.

Drug Trafficking Penalties

The penalties for drug trafficking depend on the drug and the amount. However, the crime is typically a felony, ranging from a state felony to a life felony. For trafficking more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana, for example, a person can be charged with a life felony and face 10-99 years in prison as well as a $100,000 fine. A state jail felony is the least severe drug trafficking charge and can result in two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Next is a third-degree felony, which can result in 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A second-degree felony can result in up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The penalties depend on the drug. Drugs in Group 1 include cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, opium, methadone, methamphetamine, and ketamine. Fentanyl is included in this group as well. These are considered to be the most addictive and dangerous drugs.

Penalty group 1A includes LSD, while groups 2 and 2A include hallucinogenic substances such as synthetic cannabis, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), mescaline, and amphetamine. Penalty group 3 includes barbituric acid, pentobarbital, peyote, less than 1.8 grams of codeine, less than 300 milligrams of hydrocodone, and anabolic steroids. Group 4 includes narcotic drugs.

How are Drug Traffickers Caught?

Law enforcement officials catch drug traffickers through the following:

  • Surveillance and monitoring. Law enforcement agencies often employ surveillance techniques to track the movements and activities of suspected drug traffickers. This may involve physical surveillance, wiretaps, and electronic monitoring of communications.
  • Informants and tips. Informants within criminal organizations or members of the community may provide tips or information to law enforcement agencies about drug trafficking activities. These tips can lead to arrests.
  • Undercover operations. Law enforcement agencies sometimes conduct undercover operations, where officers pose as buyers or sellers to make arrests.
  • Financial investigations. Following the money trail can also help police catch drug traffickers. Financial investigations can uncover the financial infrastructure supporting drug trafficking operations.

Contact Our Texas Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyers Today

Drug trafficking is a serious crime that can result in significant penalties. You could face hefty fines and many years in prison.

Count on the team at Granger and Mueller PC for help with your case. There are some defenses that may be applicable in a drug trafficking charge, which is where a knowledgeable Austin criminal defense attorney comes in. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (512) 474-9999.