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Drug charges constitute narcotics-related acts that are considered illegal by the federal government. Federal drug crimes involve federal prosecution at a federal court. Drug charges differ for various states, while some charges are considered criminal at the federal level.
Dictation for a federal drug charge may vary from a state drug charge. Those arrested for drug offenses violate federal drug laws and will be under federal prosecution if:
• They are caught manufacturing and selling drugs
• They are captured through an informant’s help
• Federal officers catch them
• They are found on federal property such as national monuments
Drugs are classified into schedules based on the drug’s potential for abuse and causing addiction. These schedules also classify various controlled substances based on if the drugs are accepted for medical use.
The federal government has strategies to combat the manufacturing, distribution and usage of drugs. Various laws have been implemented to control these substances and punish those caught breaking them.
Possession is the most common drug charge. It involves knowingly and deliberately possessing an illegal drug without a valid prescription. One may possess a controlled substance with the intent to use or sell.
It includes constructive possession which does not require one to have a sufficient amount of drugs on them. Conversely, it focuses on whether a person has access and control to a place where drugs were found.
Possession not only means having drugs but also possessing paraphernalia associated with drug use. This paraphernalia includes syringes, rolling papers and bongs.
Drug manufacturing charges refer to the making of illegal drugs and other controlled substances. It also includes the growing or production of natural elements needed to process and make the drugs.
For example, possession of marijuana or coca plants with intent to grow may count as a drug manufacturing charge. Possession or production of chemical substances for manufacturing illegal substances also counts for drug manufacturing charges.
The delivery of natural or chemical elements to manufacture drugs is also illegal. However, the possession of marijuana seeds may differ in various states due to legalization of use.
Trafficking and distribution is a severe felony since it involves transportation of a significant amount of drugs. One may be charged with trafficking or distribution based on the amount of drugs seized.
Drug trafficking may be through an established black market network or individuals working alone. Drug trafficking includes drug lords that have a high ranking in a system involved in the drug trade. Drug lords are not directly involved in possession and distribution, making it hard to apprehend them.
Organized Crime involving Drugs
This felony involves running criminal enterprises meant to engage in drug manufacturing and trafficking. It includes money laundering charges to clean money from drug proceeds. The charges also tackle gangs or criminal groups involved in controlled substances.
Organized crime oversees the system of production and distribution of drugs through crime groups. Thus, the crimes result from the structure of the drug system or hierarchy. Organized crime includes violent crimes or actions related to drug manufacturing and distribution.
Violence may be inflicted on drug users or other dealers in turf wars. It includes drug cartels which are criminal organizations that manage and operate drug trafficking.
Organized crime may be in the form of managed agreements between traffickers. It may also be in the form of commercial enterprises that oversee drug operations and launder drug money.
Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute
Drug possession with intent to distribute is also referred to as drug dealing. It involves possessing illegal controlled substances and selling at a smaller scale. Drug trafficking and dealing may be charged differently under federal law.
The punishment for drug dealing is not as severe as trafficking since it involves possession in small amounts. There are different sentences for possession of various amounts of a particular controlled substance. The charges may also differ for multiple states, especially with the legalization of substances like marijuana.