Though every state in the United States is at risk for the transportation and distribution of illegal drugs, Texas consistently ranks at or near the top for the amount of major drugs seized within its borders. This is in part due to Texas’ proximity to Mexico, a constant source of illegal drugs, but also because it stands as a major gateway to the rest of the country.
What is Drug Trafficking?
Simply put, drug trafficking [Title 6 Chapter 481] is the act of transporting illegal drugs from one spot another, including distribution and importation. The penalties for drug trafficking can be severe, including years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, loss of benefits and licenses, and difficulties finding employment.
Often, a charge of drug trafficking is applied to anyone found with illegal drugs in their possession. The difference trafficking and a drug possession charge can sometimes simple be the amount; if a person is found with drugs exceeding a certain weight, he or she will most likely be charged with drug trafficking as opposed to drug possession, which can carry much more severe consequences.
One example of this is a 2017 arrest of ten individuals charged with interstate drug trafficking. The Police Department conducted a seven-month investigation with police departments across Texas and eventually seized sixty-four pounds of marijuana, 230 prescription pills, six bottles of prescription syrup, 274 grams of cocaine, fourteen grams of psilocybin, three pistols, and seven assault rifles. The street value of these drugs was a quarter of a million dollars and partly based on the amount the individuals were charged with trafficking.
Every type of illegal drug, above a certain amount, can count as a drug trafficking charge, but some of the more common types include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and prescription drugs like oxycodone. Alternatively, if someone is caught with measuring equipment or plastic bags (and especially large amounts of cash), a drug trafficking charge is usually levelled as well.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking?
If someone is convicted of drug trafficking, they can face a stiff punishment. In the case of heroin or methamphetamine, a person convicted could be sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. If a person is charged a second time the punishment can be multiplied exponentially with the accused facing anywhere from 10-99 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $10,000. Texas Law allows for any of these charges to be increased if further malfeasance can be proven, such as if a weapon is found.
If you or a loved one is charged with drug trafficking in Houston, TX or surrounding areas, it is very important to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who can competently defend you in court. Carl Haggard has over 30 years of experience defending the people of Texas against drug trafficking charges and has a verifiable winning court record. Call (832) 328-0600 or email The Haggard Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation about your case and we will go to work fighting for you!