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Drug Trafficking

The trafficking of drugs has become a worldwide phenomenon, as it is a major commodity in the global black market. Drug trafficking involves the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of controlled substances. The United States government is expressly opposed to the illegal drug trade, and drug trafficking is criminalized at both the national and state level. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts imposes considerable penalties for those individuals convicted of trafficking controlled substances, and those charged with this crime should recognize the imperativeness of retaining the services of an aggressive drug crimes defense attorney immediately. The penalties attached to the crime of drug trafficking differ depending on a few factors such as the type of drug and the amount of the drug being trafficked.

Marijuana Trafficking

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 96C, Section 32E(a) criminalizes the trafficking of marijuana. The law provides that anyone who traffics marijuana by knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or cultivating or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, cultivate, or by bringing in Marijuana is punishable under the law. Any individual charged with trafficking at least 50 pounds of marijuana will result in a mandatory minimum sentence and a fine.

An individual who is charged with trafficking 50 pounds or more of marijuana, but less than 100 pounds is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment in the state prison for 2.5 years – maximum sentence of 15 years, or
  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for 1 year – maximum sentence of 2.5 years, and
  • Mandatory minimum fine of $500 – maximum fine of $10,000

An individual who is charged with trafficking 100 pounds or more of marijuana, but less than 2,000 pounds is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment in the state prison for 3 years – maximum sentence of 15 years, and
  • Mandatory fine of $2,500 – maximum fine $25,000

An individual who is charged with trafficking 2000 pounds or more of marijuana, but less than 10,000 pounds is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment in the state prison for 5 years – maximum sentence of 15 years, and
  • Mandatory fine of $5,000 – maximum fine $50,000

An individual who is charged with trafficking 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment in the state prison for 10 years – maximum sentence of 15 years, and
  • Mandatory fine of $20,000 – maximum fine $200,000
Class B - Cocaine Trafficking

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 96C, Section 32E(b) criminalizes the trafficking of cocaine. The law provides that anyone who traffics a Class B controlled substance by knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or cultivating or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, cultivate, or by bringing in a Class B controlled substance is punishable under the law. Any individual charged with trafficking at least 14 grams of a Class B controlled substance will result in a mandatory minimum sentence and a fine.

An individual who is charged with trafficking 14 grams or more of a Class B controlled substance, but less than 28 grams is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory state prison sentence of 3 years – maximum sentence 15 years, and
  • A fine of $2,500, but no more than $25,000

An individual who is charged with trafficking 28 grams or more of a Class B controlled substance, but less than 100 grams is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory state prison sentence of 5 years – maximum sentence 20 years, and
  • A fine of $5,000, but no more than $50,000

An individual who is charged with trafficking 100 grams or more of a Class B controlled substance, but less than 200 grams is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory state prison sentence of 10 years – maximum sentence 20 years, and
  • A fine of $10,000, but no more than $100,000

An individual who is charged with trafficking 200 grams or more of a Class B controlled substance is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory state prison sentence of 15 years – maximum sentence 20 years, and
  • A fine of $50,000, but no more than $500,000
Heroin, Morphine & Opium Trafficking

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 96C, Section 32E(c) criminalizes the trafficking of Heroin, Morphine and Opium. The law provides that anyone who traffics heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof by knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or cultivating or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, cultivate, or by bringing in heroin is punishable under the law. Any individual charged with trafficking at least 14 grams of heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof will result in a mandatory minimum sentence and a fine.

An individual who is charged with trafficking 14 grams or more of heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof, but less than 28 grams is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory state prison sentence of 5 years – maximum sentence 20 years, and
  • A fine of $5,000, but no more than $50,000

An individual who is charged with trafficking 28 grams or more of heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof, but less than 100 grams is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory state prison sentence of 7 years – maximum sentence 20 years, and
  • A fine of $5,000, but no more than $50,000

An individual who is charged with trafficking 100 grams or more of heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof, but less than 200 grams is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory state prison sentence of 10 years – maximum sentence 20 years, and
  • A fine of $10,000, but no more than $100,000

An individual who is charged with trafficking 200 grams or more of heroin or any salt thereof, morphine or any salt thereof, opium or any derivative thereof is subject to the following punishments:

  • Mandatory state prison sentence of 15 years – maximum sentence 20 years, and
  • A fine of $50,000, but no more than $500,000

In the United States, both state and federal authorities are able to bring drug charges. Either way, the penalties are severe. Drug laws in Massachusetts are usually felony level crimes and carry significant sentences ranging up to 20 years in prison. That's why it's vitally important to avoid conviction and to work with an aggressive drug crimes defense lawyer. If you have been investigated or charged with a drug crime such as trafficking, you need a strong and experienced defense lawyer to fight the charges against you. At The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy we investigate the federal and state constitutional issues of each drug case thoroughly and we aggressively fight all drug charges. Before you speak with a law enforcement officer, your best decision is to hire Attorney Patrick J. Murphy to protect your constitutional rights and defend you against criminal prosecution. Call (617) 367-0450 now to schedule your free and confidential consultation or submit our online contact form which will be sent immediately to Attorney Murphy’s private email address.

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