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Archive for the ‘drug trafficking’ tag

Drug Trafficking at the State and Federal Level

November 24th, 2017 at 3:47 pm

drug trafficking, illegally trafficking drugs, trafficking heroin, Class X felony, Rolling Meadows drug crime lawyerDrug trafficking (i.e. distributing or selling a controlled substance) is illegal under both state and federal law and while the legal ramifications of federal drug convictions tend to be considered much steeper than state level drug convictions, it is important to note that this is not always the case.

If you or a loved one has been accused of illegally trafficking drugs at either the state or federal level, it is important to understand that this is a serious accusation for which your or your loved one may face significant jail time. 

Federal Law

Per 21 U.S. Code § 841, it is illegal under federal law, in most circumstances, to manufacture, dispense, or distribute a qualifying controlled substance, or possess such a substance with the intent to distribute, manufacture, or dispense it. Also, take note that the legal ramifications of drug trafficking under federal law vary significantly depending on which schedule the trafficked substance is classified under.

To get a feel for the types of prison sentences that a convicted drug trafficker could face under federal law, let us consider a penalty commonly associated with trafficking heroin. Under federal law, an offender who is caught with 100 grams or more of heroin can be sentenced to serve 5 to 40 years in prison for an ordinary offense. However, a more serious penalty can be levied if the offender has one or more prior felony convictions.

Illinois State Law

Illinois’ main anti-drug trafficking law is contained in code section 720 ILCS 570/401 which, in a nutshell, makes it illegal for any person to knowingly deliver or manufacturer a qualifying controlled substance, or possess such a substance with the intent to deliver it or manufacture more of it. The penalty for violating this code section vary from case to case as an offender’s sentence is primarily determined based upon which controlled substance the offender was convicted of trafficking and on how much of the drug the offender was caught with.

For example, if an offender is convicted of trafficking heroin in Illinois and he or she was caught with 15 to 99 grams of the drug, then he or she is guilty of a Class X felony and can be sentenced to serve six to 30 years in prison. However, if the same offender was caught with 100 grams or more of heroin, then he or she can be ordered to serve 9 to 40 years in prison.

Let Us Assist You Today

As you can see, the legal ramifications of trafficking drugs can be quite steep at both the state and federal level and varies significantly depending on the type and quantity of the substance trafficked. This area of the law can be quite complex, but an experienced Rolling Meadows drug crime lawyer will be able to evaluate any trafficking charges pending against you and explain in detail the legal ramifications that an ensuing conviction may carry. However, it is important to remember that just because you have been charged with a drug crime does not mean that you will necessarily be convicted. No matter how bleak your case may appear, be sure to consult with a local criminal defense attorney without delay in order to best protect your legal rights. If you are facing a drug charge in Illinois, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for help.


Drug Trafficking Is A Serious Offense in Illinois

September 12th, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Drug Trafficking Is A Serious Offense in IllinoisDrug trafficking is one of the more serious drug offenses, as people are often found to be transporting large quantities of drugs into and around the state. The purpose behind trafficking illegal drugs is to import large quantities of drugs into the state in order to distribute and sell those drugs in a smaller quantity to others. That is why law enforcement takes the responsibility of catching a drug trafficker so seriously.

What Is Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking charges are based on the type of drug that is being trafficked across state lines. If you are caught with large quantities of illegal drugs in Illinois, you can be charged with trafficking:

  • Controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, depressants, stimulants and prescription drugs, under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act;
  • Marijuana, under 720 ILCS 550/4(f)-(g), i.e. possession of cannabis in a quantity of more than 2,000 grams; or
  • Methamphetamines, under 720 ILCS 646/56 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.

Generally speaking, drug trafficking can be defined as knowingly bringing a controlled substance or illegal drug into the state of Illinois, with the intent to deliver the controlled substance or drug elsewhere. It does not matter if the drugs or controlled substances are counterfeit. If the defendant had knowledge that they were bringing a controlled substance or drug into Illinois, the defendant can still find themselves in hot water with the law even though there were no real drugs involved.

Multiple Types of Drugs, Multiple Offenses

What can make drug trafficking charges worse is that if a suspect is caught with a variety of different drugs, they can be charged with multiple offenses.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for those who are charged with drug trafficking to also be charged with other drug-related offenses, such as drug possession, drug distribution, or possession with intent to distribute.

What Are Some Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges?

If you have been charged with drug trafficking, you need to get in touch with an experienced drug offense criminal defense lawyer immediately. You may have some defenses available to you, and your lawyer will help you determine what those defenses are based on your particular situation. Some examples of defenses that might be available to you include, but are not limited to:

  • You had no knowledge that the drugs were in your possession;
  • You were entrapped by law enforcement to transport the drugs;
  • You were under duress when you trafficked the drugs; or
  • You were temporarily insane.

Contacting A Rolling Meadows Drug Offenses Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges for possession, possession with the intent to distribute, or drug trafficking, you should reach out to an experienced drug offenses lawyer for legal guidance on what you can do about your charges. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal attorney immediately. Our office can assist you throughout your case.


The Drug Trade in Chicago

January 3rd, 2014 at 10:22 am

Many people consider the Chicago area notorious for drugs, and more specifically the abuse of heroin. In fact, citizens in the Chicago area suffer the highest number of heroin overdoses across the country. An interesting article recently published by the Chicago Reader examined the state of Chicago’s “thriving heroin business” and the history of the issue over the last 100 years.

 drug trafficking in Chicago IMAGEOver the last century, Chicago’s heroin business has been able to change and thrive despite the measures aimed at curbing the behavior, including legal restrictions, increased law enforcement, and societal changes. Illegal drug markets began developing in the early twentieth century in marked areas of Chicago. Police were forced to strike a balance between cracking down on users and confining the activity to the known areas with known users and known criminal histories.

When Congress began passing restrictions on the trade of opiates in the 1920s, criminal organizations began dominating the business by smuggling the drugs, sometimes internationally. In the next 40 years, there was a shift in population in the west side of Chicago, with the area becoming predominantly African-American by 1965. Overall, the area suffered losses in jobs as a result of hundreds of companies closing. With the economy declining, the market for illegal drugs flourished.

Eventually, the organized crime families stepped away from the drug trade in favor of having gangs handle the business for them.  Instead of selling drugs on the street as was done in the past, buyers would call dealers to arrange a purchase, decide on a meet location, exchange a code and make the exchange through an opening in the door. Perhaps not surprisingly, gang and drug-related violence increased dramatically in the early 1970s, and in 1974, Chicago experienced the city’s highest number of annual murders.

The 1980s and 1990s brought another change in the drug business. Colombian and Mexican cartels took over drug trafficking into Chicago. Increased competition in Chicago forced the sale of drugs outdoors, usually in public housing complexes or other distressed neighborhoods. Incidents of violence spiked again, and it seemed drug sales were a commonplace occurrence happening everywhere.

By the early 2000s, many of the gang leaders heavily involved in the drug trade were incarcerated and gang structure was weakened. The rates of violence began to decline overall. The drug business is no longer strongly tied to a specific group, but now often involves different gangs participating in the business together.

People not only in Chicago, but across the state of Illinois and across the country, continue to struggle with and suffer from the use and abuse of drugs. As criminal defense attorneys, we have experience in defending clients who have been charged with numerous drug-related crimes. We are prepared to discuss your case with you and advise you of your rights. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in the Chicago area, contact us today for a consultation.

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