12 Alleged Gang Members Charged In Virginia For Various Drug Crimes
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, a federal grand jury returned charges in Virginia for various drug crimes and other offenses against 12 alleged gang members.
Court documents indicated that these alleged gang members conspired to commit numerous federal crimes, starting in 2017 and continuing onward. Of particular note, the indictment alleged that the defendants transported cocaine from New York to the Virginia/DC area, distributing the controlled substance at restaurants and nightclubs.
As a result of these alleged crimes, the following 12 people face criminal charges for drug trafficking and other offenses in U.S. federal court:
- One 23-year-old man from Woodbridge, Virginia;
- One 23-year-old man from Annandale, Virginia;
- One 24-year-old man from Woodbridge, Virginia;
- Two 26-year-old men from Woodbridge, Virginia;
- One 27-year-old man from Woodbridge, Virginia;
- One 29-year-old man from Woodbridge, Virginia;
- One 32-year-old man from Woodbridge, Virginia;
- One 40-year-old man from Manassas, Virginia;
- One 26-year-old man from New York, New York;
- Two 29-year-old men from New York, New York;
Even though the legal case in this matter is just beginning, it seems appropriate to review the U.S. federal laws against and penalties for drug trafficking.
U.S. Federal Laws Against Drug Trafficking
The federal laws against drug trafficking appear in 21 U.S. Code Section 841. Under this section, it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally:
- Distribute, manufacture, or dispense any controlled substance; or
- Possess with intent to distribute, manufacture, or dispense any controlled substance.
U.S. Federal Penalties for Drug Trafficking
Section 841 also furnishes the U.S. federal penalties for drug trafficking. Under this section, the sentencing guidelines typically assign a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for a violation of Section 841.
That being said, Section 841 also outlines enhanced levels of punishment for certain types of offenses. For example, there is a mandatory prison sentence of five to 40 years in federal prison for drug trafficking offenses involving at least:
- 100 kilograms of cannabis (or at least 100 cannabis plants);
- 500 grams of cocaine;
- 100 grams of heroin;
- 50 grams of a mixture containing meth;
- 40 grams of fentanyl;
- 28 grams of crack cocaine;
- 10 grams of PCP;
- 5 grams of actual meth; or
- 1 gram of LSD.
Additionally, Section 841 mandates a prison sentence of 10 years to life in federal prison for drug trafficking offenses involving at least:
- 1,000 kilograms of cannabis (or at least 1,000 cannabis plants);
- 5 kilograms of cocaine;
- 1 kilogram of heroin;
- 500 grams of a mixture containing meth;
- 400 grams of fentanyl;
- 280 grams of crack cocaine;
- 100 grams of PCP;
- 50 grams of actual meth; or
- 10 grams of LSD.
Do You Need Legal Help?
The dedicated Leesburg drug crimes lawyers at Simms Showers LLP are prepared to help you today. Reach out to us for a consultation on your case.