Drug trafficking is a serious offense that often leads to a federal prosecution. The trade in drugs like heroin and cocaine is enforced diligently by the authorities.
In September, Austin made headlines when officers allegedly seized cocaine worth $90,000, reported the Statesman.
The report stated investigators with the Criminal Interdiction Unit seized the cocaine during a traffic stop on Sept. 25.
The police identified the 37-year-old driver as Pedro Garcia. He gave them permission to search his Ford pickup. A police sniffer dog confirmed the possible existence of narcotics in the vehicle.
Police officers said they noticed “anomalies” on the front end differential of the pickup. The Ford was taken to a mechanic shop for further inspection. Police said they found four packages wrapped in tape inside the pickup. They alleged the packages contained three kilos of cocaine with an estimated street value of around $90.000.
Garcia was subsequently booked into Travis County Jail. He was charged with drug trafficking charges and was due to be transferred into federal custody, according to investigators.
Drug trafficking is a serious offense. Our Austin drug offense criminal defense lawyers have a long track record in helping people charged with this crime.
While drug possession may be dealt with by the state, drug trafficking charges pit the weight of the federal system against you. We often see young people who are just setting out in life and have no criminal record, facing a minimum of ten years in federal prison for drug trafficking.
Drug Trafficking and Federal Versus State Crimes
There has long been a longstanding federal strategy to fight drug abuse and the distribution of many controlled substances. In the 1980s, a high profile zero tolerance approach was pursued in relation to drugs.
At the same time, every state has its own drug laws. Typically, federal charges are for trafficking and distribution, while most state drug offenses are for possession.
Although federal punishments are usually harsher, there are a number of other factors that can influence your sentence, namely:
- The type of drug involved and the quantity.
- Where you were apprehended by police. If you smuggled drugs into the country or were handing them out near a school, the penalties are tougher
- Your criminal history.
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, it’s important to contact and hire an experienced Austin drug defense lawyer as soon as possible.