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Drug Trafficking

Federal guidelines from the United States Sentencing Commission state that a “drug trafficking offense” is defined as “an offense under federal, state, or local law that prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) or the possession of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute, or dispense.” The Texas Health and Safety Code also contains numerous criminal offenses relating to the manufacture or delivery of controlled substances, which is commonly referred to as drug trafficking crimes.

Drug Trafficking

While many people assume that drug trafficking crimes must involve some kind of drug deal, the truth is that individuals could face drug trafficking charges in simple possession cases in which the drug possessed exceeds a certain amount. Drug trafficking crimes are aggressively prosecuted because they involve much stiffer sentences that could lead to far longer prison sentences and much bigger fines than other lower level drug crimes.

Plano Drug Trafficking Lawyer

Were you arrested for an alleged drug trafficking offense in Plano or a surrounding community in Collin County? You are going to need to get yourself skilled legal representation to fight the very serious criminal charges.

Make sure your first call is to the talented team at The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy so our firm can immediately begin investigating the circumstances surrounding your arrest. We will review your case and discuss all of your legal options with you when you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Texas Drug Trafficking Penalties

Texas divides controlled substances into different penalty groups, and marijuana (referred to in the Texas Health and Safety Code as “marihuana”) is effectively in its own penalty group. Texas Health and Safety Code §§ 481.102-481.105 establishes that Penalty Group 1 includes cocaine, flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), methamphetamine, gamma hydroxybutyric acid (gamma hydroxybutyrate, GHB), ketamine, phencyclidine (PCP), phenylacetone and methylamine (when possessed together with intent to manufacture methamphetamine), opium, and several other opiates and opium derivatives, Penalty Group 1-A includes lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and several other chemical compounds, Penalty Group 2 includes 3,4-methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA, Molly, or Ecstasy), 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mescaline, psilocybin, and several other hallucinogenic substances, Penalty Group 2-A includes synthetic cannabinoids and any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that contains any quantity of a natural or synthetic chemical substance, Penalty Group 3 includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and materials, compounds, mixtures, or preparations containing limited quantities of other enumerated narcotic drugs; and Penalty Group 4 includes materials, compounds, mixtures, or preparations containing any quantity of buprenorphine, butorphanol, pyrovalerone, or other enumerated narcotic drugs.

Texas drug trafficking crimes are then broken down by the penalty group that a criminal offense is classified under.

Manufacture or Delivery of Penalty Group 1 Controlled Substance, Health and Safety Code § 481.112

● Less than 1 gram — State Jail Felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams — Second-Degree Felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams — First-Degree Felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams — Punishable by minimum of 10 years up to life or 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000

● 400 grams or more — Punishable by minimum of 15 years up to life or 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000

Manufacture or Delivery of Penalty Group 1-A Controlled Substance, Health and Safety Code § 481.1121

● Fewer than 20 abuse units — State Jail Felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 20 or more but fewer than 80 abuse units — Second-Degree Felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 80 or more but fewer than 4,000 abuse units — First-Degree Felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 4,000 or more abuse units — Punishable by minimum of 15 years up to life or 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000

Manufacture or Delivery of Penalty Group 2 or 2-A Controlled Substance, Health and Safety Code § 481.113

● Less than 1 gram — State Jail Felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams — Second-Degree Felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 4 grams or more but less than 400 grams — First-Degree Felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 400 grams or more — Punishable by minimum of 10 years up to life or 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000

Manufacture or Delivery of Penalty Group 3 or 4 Controlled Substance, Health and Safety Code § 481.114

● Less than 28 grams — State Jail Felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 28 grams or more but less than 200 grams — Second-Degree Felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams — First-Degree Felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000

● 400 grams or more — Punishable by minimum of 10 years up to life or 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000

Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties in Dallas

Under federal law, controlled substances are divided into Drug Schedules. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential.

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote. Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs include combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin. Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs include products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone. Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, and Tramadol. Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and Parepectolin.

The federal penalties are not less than five years up to 40 years in prison but not less than

20 years or more than life if there is death or serious injury involved in the case as well as a fine of up to $5 million for an individual and $25 million if not an individual when a drug trafficking case involves:

● 500–4999 grams mixture of Cocaine (Schedule II)

● 28–279 grams mixture of Cocaine Base (Schedule II)

● 40–399 grams mixture of Fentanyl (Schedule II)

● 10–99 grams mixture of Fentanyl Analogue (Schedule I)

● 100–999 grams mixture of Heroin (Schedule I)

● 1–9 grams mixture of LSD (Schedule I)

● 5–49 grams pure or 50–499 grams mixture of Methamphetamine (Schedule II)

● 10–99 grams pure or 100–999 grams mixture of PCP (Schedule II)

The federal penalties are not less than 10 years up to life in prison but not less than

20 years or more than life if there is death or serious injury involved in the case as well as a fine of up to $10 million for an individual and $50 million if not an individual when a drug trafficking case involves:

● 5 kilograms or more mixture of Cocaine (Schedule II)

● 280 grams mixture of Cocaine Base (Schedule II)

● 400 grams mixture of Fentanyl (Schedule II)

● 100 grams mixture of Fentanyl Analogue (Schedule I)

● 1 kilogram mixture of Heroin (Schedule I)

● 10 grams mixture of LSD (Schedule I)

● 50 grams pure or 500 grams mixture of Methamphetamine (Schedule II)

● 100 grams pure or 1 kilogram mixture of PCP (Schedule II)

Other drug trafficking crimes are broken down as follows:

● For all other Schedule I & II drugs (and any drug product containing Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid) and flunitrazepam (Schedule IV), any amount will be punishable on the first offense by not more than 20 years in prison or not less than 20 years up to life in prison if there is death or serious injury and a fine of $1 million if an individual or $5 million if not an individual. A second or subsequent offense becomes punishable by up to 30 year in prison or life in prison if there is death or serious injury and a fine of $2 million if an individual, $10 million if not an individual.

● For other Schedule III drugs, first offense for any amount is not more than 10 years in prison or a maximum of 15 years in prison if there is death or serious injury and a fine of not more than $500,000 if an individual, $2.5 million if not an individual. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by not more than 20 years in prison or a maximum of 30 years in prison if death or serious injury results and a fine of not more than $1 million if an individual, $5 million if not an individual.

● For all other Schedule IV drugs in any amount, a first offense is punishable by not more than five years in prison and a fine of not more than $250,000 if an individual, $1 million if not an individual. Second or subsequent offenses are punishable by not more than 10 years in prison and a fine of not more than $500,000 if an individual, $2 million if other than an individual.

● For flunitrazepam (Schedule IV) offenses involving amounts other than 1 gram or more and all Schedule V drug offenses, first offenses are punishable by not more than one year in prison and a fine of not more than $100,000 if an individual, $250,000 if not an individual. Second offenses are punishable by not more than four years in prison and a fine of not more than $200,000 if an individual, $500,000 if not an individual.

Texas Drug Trafficking Resources

Collin County teen sentenced to federal prison - Sherman, TX — Read this Herald Democrat story about a 19-year-old McKinney man sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on drug and weapons charges in the Eastern District of Texas. The man pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a drug user and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and was sentenced to a total of 144 months in federal prison. The story demonstrates the complications that can arise for alleged offenders when they are facing both drug trafficking and weapon charges.

North Texas Strike Force Arrests 10 Defendants Related to Collin County Overdose Death — Read this press release from the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas that discusses 10 individuals being arrested following a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in the Eastern District of Texas. In October 2019, a combined task force of federal, state, and local law enforcement executed federal arrest warrants as the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force investigation in the North Texas Area as a result of a Fairview, Texas overdose death in December 2018. The alleged offenders were charged in seven-count indictments with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of controlled substances resulting in death and aiding and abetting; conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; accessory after the fact; misprision of a felony; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of controlled substances and aiding and abetting; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Plano Drug Trafficking Attorney

If you are facing any kind of drug trafficking charge after an arrest in Collin County, you are going to need to make sure that you retain legal counsel. Get yourself an attorney from The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Our firm will fight to make sure that you are able to face the fewest possible penalties. Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online right now to set up a completely free initial consultation.

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