What are federal drug conspiracy charges?
A federal drug conspiracy is when two or more people agree to commit a drug crime. It doesn’t matter if the plan is never carried out or if you have very limited involvement or barely benefit from your participation. It doesn’t even matter if you know the parties involved.
Federal Drug Conspiracy Background
When it comes to federal drug crimes, the law is intentionally broad. It’s not uncommon for the government to arrest dozens of people on federal drug conspiracy charges stemming from the same operation, investigation, or organization.
This is because it only takes an agreement between two or more people to commit a federal drug crime and there are usually lots of players involved – ranging from king pens to manufacturers to bit players just trying to feed their addiction.
If you or a loved one has been caught up in the government’s snare and arrested on federal drug conspiracy charges, it’s imperative to contact an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you can get out in front of it, the better off you will be. If convicted, you are facing harsh penalties that could include a lengthy prison sentence and hefty fines.
The attorneys at Varghese Summersett have vast experience defending federal drug conspiracy charges in Fort Worth, Dallas, and throughout the northern and eastern districts of Texas. In this blog post, will explain the law, the punishments, and possible defenses. Please also take a moment to watch the videos by Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney Benson Varghese.
How are federal drug conspiracy charges built?
A federal drug conspiracy is when two or more people agree to commit a drug crime. It doesn’t matter if the plan is never carried out or if you have very limited involvement or barely benefitted from your participation. It doesn’t even matter if you know the parties involved.
In order to convict someone of federal drug conspiracy charges, federal prosecutors are only required to prove that:
- there was an agreement between two or more people to violate a federal drug law; and
- each conspirator knew of the unlawful agreement but voluntarily chose to join it.
The law – specifically 21 USC 841 and 21 USC 942 – covers a variety of different federal drug conspiracy charges including:
- Manufacturing a controlled substance, which involves the production, processing or preparation of a controlled substance.
- Distributing a controlled substance, which essentially means delivering a drug to someone even if money isn’t involved or exchanged.
- Possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute, which can include drug sales or possession of equipment such as scales or baggies.
- Importing a controlled substance, which involves the importation of illegal drugs into the U.S., sometimes through customs or crossing the border.
So, as you can see, the feds can arrest almost anyone with any role whatsoever on a federal drug conspiracy charge. Conspiracy is a powerful tool for the federal government because it enables prosecutors to expand their reach and use leverage to go after other, sometimes bigger, players.
What are the federal penalties for drug conspiracy?
The punishment for federal drug conspiracy charges is complex. It depends on the type and quantity of drug, your role in the conspiracy, and whether or not you cooperate with the government. Most drug charges are 0-20 year cases, 5-40 year cases, or 10-life cases.
But, in general, federal drug conspiracy charges are serious and can result in long prison sentences and large fines. Your property and possessions may also be seized. The punishment for federal drug conspiracy is also harsher than state penalties.
That’s why it’s imperative to have an experienced federal drug conspiracy defense attorney who understands the nature of your charge, the intricacies of federal sentencing and will fight to get the best possible outcome in your case.
To understand how federal sentencing work, please watch this comprehensive video below:
What are some possible defenses to federal drug conspiracy charges?
The federal government has almost limitless resources at its disposal when investigating federal drug conspiracy charges. They will use those resources to try and build a strong case against you.
That’s why it’s vital to have an experienced federal drug conspiracy defense attorney on your side who will level the playing field and fight for your freedom.
Some possible defenses to federal drug conspiracy charges include:
- You were unaware of the drug conspiracy;
- There was no agreement between you or the co-defendants;
- You withdrew from the conspiracy and reported the impeding crime;
- The government conducted unlawful searches and seizures or entrapment;
- You were coerced into giving an incriminating statement;
- Drugs were improperly tested;
- Witnesses lack credibility.
What makes something a federal case, rather than a state case?
Most drug cases can be prosecuted in state or federal court. Cases that are prosecuted federally often result in more arrests and harsher sentences. The case can go federal if it involves:
- Interstate commerce – for example, if the drugs were transported across state lines.
- The U.S. mail – for example, if drugs were shipped through the mail.
- Federal property – for example, if the drug activity took place on federal land such as a national park.
- A federal agency – for example, if the investigation was conducted by a federal agency such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, or U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
- Large quantities of drugs.
- An international investigation.
- Organized crime.
Again, if federal prosecutors want to handle a case or investigation, they will. It’s really that simple.
What should I do if I’m under investigation for a federal drug conspiracy?
If you are under investigation for federal drug conspiracy, the most important thing to do is exercise your right to remain silent and contact an experienced federal drug conspiracy defense attorney immediately.
Facing federal drug conspiracy charges in Fort Worth, Dallas, or surrounding areas?
The government doesn’t usually charge someone with federal drug conspiracy charges unless the case has been under investigation for a long time. Not to mention, things move quickly in the federal system.
If you or a loved one is facing federal drug conspiracy charges, time is not on your side. It’s important to contact a seasoned and skilled federal defense attorney immediately so they can get to work on a strategy for the case.
The federal drug conspiracy defense lawyers at Varghese Summersett have successfully defended clients against federal drug conspiracy charges in federal courts throughout Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas and the surrounding areas. Call us now for a free consultation: 817-203-2220