Drug trafficking is a major issue that affects the health and safety of society. This federal crime can have severe consequences for those involved, as well as for the communities that suffer from it.
Despite the risks, many people are still tempted to get involved in drug trafficking. The United States Sentencing Commission reported that drug trafficking cases went up by 7.4% in 2021. The legal ramifications of this activity are significant.
Penalties for drug trafficking
A drug trafficking conviction can lead to large fines and a long prison sentence. If the activity results in serious injury or death, a person could even get life imprisonment. Fines can go up to $20 million for trafficking harder drugs such as meth, fentanyl and cocaine. These penalties can worsen for repeat offenders.
Penalties for related crimes
To traffic drugs successfully, a person often has to commit other crimes as well. For example, a person may use a communication center to facilitate drug transactions, or a person may set up premises to manufacture and distribute drugs. These crimes can lead to additional charges and penalties.
Consequences of a criminal record
When a person has this kind of charge on his or her record, finding employment can be very difficult. A drug trafficking charge could also hinder other privileges such as travel and access to benefits. This is especially the case if an individual winds up with a first-degree felony, which is common with drug trafficking.
It can be hard to break free from the cycle of drug abuse and crime, so people involved in drug trafficking should rethink what they are doing early on. The money and the thrill are not worth the risks.