In early 2014, a man named Garnett Gilbert Smith was charged after a serious drug trafficking matter that made him millions. Smith, aged 44, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for shipping literally a ton of cocaine from California to Maryland over a matter of years and bringing in wads of cash to sustain his lifestyle. Between the years of 2010 and 2011, he cleared out a profit of $10,000 on each kilogram and raked in over $10 million total for his crimes! Not only were his shipping sprees full of cocaine, but he was also found guilty of trafficking heroin at times. With the money Garnett Gilbert Smith had illegally obtained through his trades, he stayed at the Montage Hotel regularly, rented out properties in many states, had 19 luxury vehicles, as well as a designer wardrobe and millions in jewelry. After Smith was sent to prison for his sentence, the judge handed $6.7 million of Smith’s assets over to the federal government. Smith pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Cases like these made history in the drug trafficking inside world.
Drug distribution is taken very seriously in California. Their drug distribution laws criminalize the sale, transport, transfer, and import of controlled substances, illegal drugs, or marijuana. Sometimes, people will attempt to use the excuse that they were holding the drugs for personal use instead of attempting to traffic the drugs to other people. This means that a prosecutor in a case must be able to differentiate between possession of drugs for personal use or trafficking for sale purposes. They will probably have to obtain evidence into the matter to show that distribution was on the defendant’s mind. This evidence may include the amount of drugs as well as packaging materials, scales, weapons, or other paraphernalia that shows possession for sale rather than personal use.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking
For many different types of drugs, the laws happen to be specific. Here are some examples of some drugs that are commonly part of trafficking cases and what penalties apply: Marijuana: These crimes could produce fines between $25,000-$200,000 and prison sentences ranging anywhere from 3-15 years. Cocaine: Fines can range anywhere from $25,000-$250,000 with prison sentences ranging from 3-15 years depending on the number of grams involved. Heroin: Heroin is one of the most serious types of drug trafficking crimes. It can bring penalties of $50,000-$500,000 and prison sentences ranging from 3-25 years. Along with these fines and prison sentences, there are other penalties that you may experience: Loss of Rights/Benefits: You may lose your civil rights as well as federal benefits. Examples of these can be rights to carry a firearm as well as federal school loans and grants. Forfeiture of Assets: You will have to forfeit any assets, money, or property obtained through the trafficking operation. This usually happens in drug offense cases that are punishable by greater than one year imprisonment. Immigration Consequences: If you are involved in any immigration law, a drug trafficking offense can lead to immediate deportation. A history of this crime on your record may make you ineligible for entry into the U.S. These cases are some of the most serious criminal charges that somebody may face. For this very reason, you will want to speak with an experienced attorney who will work with you to try and help you retain as many rights as possible. Call The Law Office of Peter Blair today for more information on what you can do.