When a person is accused of trafficking drugs across state lines, he or she could face state and federal charges. Prosecutors also have an array of options when deciding what allegations to bring. People accused of drug trafficking often face additional charges such as money laundering and conspiracy. Anyone accused of such offenses would be wise to seek legal representation with experience in mounting a criminal defense on both the federal and state levels.
Back in August, Attorney General Eric Holder repealed federal policy requiring that prosecutors pursue the maximum possible penalty for defendants accused of drug crimes. The new policy is aimed at protecting non-violent drug offenders from penalties that don't fit the crime.
Could an unsuspecting individual be tricked by sophisticated drug traffickers into transporting large sums of money across state lines? That was a claim in the defense of a man recently tried in federal court in Pittsburgh.
Extensive case preparation is often the key to a favorable outcome for a defendant facing federal drug charges. The objective of a strong criminal defense is to uncover any mistakes investigators or prosecutors may have made. It may be possible that revealing such mistakes will result in a reduction or dismissal of charges. If the evidence presented by federal prosecutors is likely to result in a conviction, however, then negotiating for a reduced sentence should become the defense's top priority.
Federal prosecutors have charged the chief of police of a western Pennsylvania town with attempting to abuse his position of authority by charging extortion money to who he thought were drug dealers operating in his jurisdiction. However, his attorney contends that an undercover FBI sting operation entrapped him.
In a major victory for people accused of drug crimes, many people serving time for federal drug charges may soon be eligible for a reduced sentence thanks to a recent decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Buju Banton, a reggae star who recently won the 2010 Grammy for Best Reggae Album, is about to undergo a second trial on charges of alleged drug trafficking. The first trial, conducted five months ago, ended when a hung jury refused to convict.
Last week, Pennsylvania state authorities announced they used surveillance and wiretaps to dismantle a large cocaine distribution network. The network was based in the Pittsburgh area, but had connections to Atlanta and Texas. Authorities believe the operation brought more than $4 million worth of cocaine into Allegheny County over the last two years.
This month, new federal sentencing guidelines went into effect that will change the way crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses are punished in the federal system. The changes are a response to the Fair Sentencing Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in August. The Fair Sentencing Act was intended to equalize sentences in cases involving crack cocaine with cases involving powder cocaine.