About Drug Trafficking
St. Louis Drug Trafficking Lawyer
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, drug trafficking is a global illicit trade which involves the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to the nation's drug prohibition laws. According to a UN report, the global drug trade generated an estimated $321.6 billion dollars in 2003.
Drug crimes are subject to both state and federal drug laws, with most state laws targeting possession, whereas drug trafficking is subject to federal drug charges. The major difference between state and federal drug charges is that in general a conviction for federal drug trafficking generally carries harsher sentencing and penalties.
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is the federal U.S. drug policy which regulates the possession, manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of substances covered under the Act. Under the Act, drugs are classified in five Schedules (categories) with Schedule I substances having the highest potential for abuse; they also don't have any currently accepted medical use in the United States. Schedule I drugs include drugs such as GHB, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy, peyote and others.
The term distribution generally refers to when someone sells, delivers or otherwise provides a controlled substance illegally, whereas drug trafficking refers to the unlawful sale or distribution of a controlled substance. While the concept of drug trafficking may conjure images of someone crossing state lines with a trunk full of cocaine, it has less to do with crossing state lines, and more to do with the volume of drugs involved in the crime. In general, the fines and sentencing assessed for someone accused of drug trafficking rely heavily upon the Schedule of the controlled substance involved, the location; for example distributing drugs near a school carries higher penalties, and the defendant's criminal history.
Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 195 Drug Regulations Section 195.222
In the state of Missouri drug trafficking is covered under Chapter 195, Drug Regulations, Section 195.222 of the Missouri Revised Statues. Under this section, drug trafficking is classified as either a Class A felony offense or a Class B felony offense. In order to determine which classification the offense is categorized under, it depends on the quantity and whether the person was attempting to sell or deliver, or purchase the drugs.
Class A Felony Offenses
Under Missouri law, a person commits the crime of drug trafficking in the first degree if he or she distributes, delivers, manufactures, produces, or attempts to deliver or distribute, or manufacture the following:
- More than 30 grams of heroin
- More than 150 grams of coca leaves
- More than 8 grams of a mixture or substance containing a cocaine base
- More than 500 milligrams of LSD
- More than 30 grams of PCP
- More than 4 grams of phencyclidine
- More than 30 kilograms of marijuana
- More than 30 grams of amphetamine or methamphetamine or their salts
Class B Felony Offenses
A person is guilty of committing drug trafficking in the second degree if he or she possesses or has under their control, or attempts to purchase the following:
- More than 30 grams of heroin but less than 90 grams (90 grams or more is a Class A felony)
- More than 50 grams of coca leaves but less than 450 grams
- More than 8 grams of a substance containing a cocaine base but less than 24 grams
- More than 500 milligrams but less than 1 gram of LSD
- More than 30 grams but less than 90 grams of PCP
- More than 4 grams but less than 12 grams of phencyclidine
- More than 30 kilograms but less than 100 kilograms of marijuana
- More than 30 grams but less than 90 grams of amphetamine, methamphetamine or their salts
In the state of Missouri drug trafficking charges are non-parole offenses. Under §558.011, RSMo, the term of imprisonment for a Class A felony offense is 10 to 30 years or life. For a Class B felony offense the term of imprisonment is 5 to 15 years.
St. Louis Drug Trafficking Attorney
Drug trafficking charges are extremely serious in the state of Missouri, the last thing you want to do is entrust your liberty and your future with an overburdened public defender that sees you as just another criminal in the revolving door of criminal cases. At The Sumner Law Group, we are fully committed to challenging any and all evidence against you and doing everything within our power to reduce if not eliminate the charges that you are currently facing. We urge you to contact a St. Louis drug crime attorney from our attorney at once to find out how we would tailor a defense strategy on your behalf!