When residents in the community learn about drug activity going on in an area neighborhood, they may become alarmed and automatically label the accused person as guilty. A person who faces drug charges in Pennsylvania, however, remains innocent unless and until proved guilty in a court of law. It is up to prosecutors to establish the accused person's guilt. In addition, it is within the accused person's rights to defend themselves and to seek their best interests in the criminal case.
One Pennsylvania man is in this situation after police said he was found to have been attempting a crack cocaine sale. When his home was searched, authorities uncovered about 144 grams (about 5 ounces) of the drug. They also found a firearm and charged him with possession of the firearm and cocaine trafficking.
The man ended up being convicted of distributing in excess of 280 grams (about 10 ounces) of crack cocaine over a period of two years in the York County area. The man, who is 32 years old, was recently sentenced to 22 years in federal prison as well as five years of supervised release. In addition, he was fined $1,500.
Federal drug charges must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and this must be done according to strict guidelines. This is particularly true for a charge of drug trafficking, which is a more serious crime than drug possessions is and thus is a felony. Each accused individual typically has the option of proceeding to trial and/or seeking to negotiate a plea agreement with prosecutors. Many actually do both at the same time. It is within the right of an accused person to fight for the best outcome while ensuring that their legal rights are protected.
Source: abc27.com, York man gets 22 years on drug, gun charges, Myles Snyder, Sept. 27, 2013