Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Crimes
A Virginia man pleaded guilty to multiple federal charges for drug crimes involving fentanyl that resulted in a death by overdose, according to an article by the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
According to court records, the Virginia man distributed fentanyl to an intermediary on October 7, 2019. The intermediary supplied the fentanyl to the buyer. Then the buyer went home and consumed some of the fentanyl. The buyer was discovered dead at their home the next morning. After conducting an autopsy, the medical examiner determined that a fentanyl overdose was the cause of death.
During trial in federal court, the 35-year-old man from Reston, Virginia admitted that their distribution of fentanyl caused the death of a person. In addition, the Virginia man pleaded guilty to various federal drug crimes, including:
- Distribution of fentanyl (one count);
- Conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl (one count); and
- Conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl (one count).
The authorities indicated that the Virginia man was traveling regularly to Baltimore to purchase fentanyl. Law enforcement arrested him twice during these excursions (hence the two separate counts of conspiracy to distribute), recovering more than 140 capsules of fentanyl in the process.
At this point, the Virginia man is scheduled for a federal sentencing hearing in March 2021. In the meantime, it seems like a good opportunity to consider the potential charges this man would have faced in Virginia state court for distribution of fentanyl.
Distribution of Fentanyl
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248 makes it illegal to distribute, sell, manufacture, or give away any controlled substance, which is the legal term for illegal drugs. It is also unlawful to possess these substances in circumstances that indicate an intent to distribute, sell, manufacture, or give away any controlled substance.
In terms of fentanyl, specifically, it is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. Fentanyl received this classification due to its potentially addictive and harmful qualities, as well as its accepted or restricted medical use.
Penalties for Distribution of Fentanyl
The penalties for distribution of fentanyl also appear under Section 18.2-248. Any person who distributes fentanyl or possesses fentanyl with intent to distribute is guilty of a felony crime. The punishment usually fluctuates based on the number of previous convictions, if any:
- First Conviction — The offender is subject to imprisonment for five to 40 years and criminal fines up to $500,000;
- Second Conviction — The offender is subject to imprisonment for five years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000; or
- Third or Subsequent Conviction — The offender is subject to imprisonment for 10 years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about charges for a drug crime in Virginia, it can be thoroughly effective to consult with a Leesburg drug crime lawyer. The lawyers at Simms Showers LLP have helped many clients fight back against criminal charges, including drug crimes. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.