Virginia Man Receives Life Sentence for Drug Trafficking
A Virginia man faces life in prison after pleading guilty to drug trafficking, a firearm offense, and several other crimes, as reported by WEST. The man is connected to at least four overdoses across the state of Virginia, including two deaths.
The man led a drug trafficking organization based primarily in the cities of Hampton and Newport News. Operating out of short-term stay locations – including several hotels – the man and his accomplices were able to distribute more than 1,000 grams of heroin and 280 grams of cocaine base.
As part of his operation, the man turned several customers into prostitutes. Leveraging their addiction to his advantage, the man forced several customers to engage in sexual acts for money and distribute illegal drugs.
Ultimately, the authorities caught the Virginia man and mounted a successful prosecution. Leveraging resources from several agencies and jurisdictions, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) was able to secure enough evidence to shut down the Virginia man’s operation.
Considering the impact of the Virginia man’s crimes and his corresponding sentence, it feels like an ideal time to examine Virginia laws and penalties for drug trafficking.
What are the Laws in Virginia for Drug Trafficking?
As detailed in Code of Virginia section 18.2-248, it is illegal to manufacture, sell, or distribute controlled substances in Virginia. The Virginia definition of a controlled substance includes heroin and cocaine base and outlines the considerations for drug trafficking. It is also a crime in Virginia to possess a controlled substance with the intention of manufacturing, selling, or distributing.
What are the Penalties in Virginia for Drug Trafficking?
The penalties for drug trafficking in Virginia fluctuate based on the amount of controlled substance in question. Generally speaking, drug trafficking is a felony in Virginia. Though, as stated previously, the penalties escalate for larger amounts of illegal drugs.
For example, a person who manufactures, sells, distributes, or possesses with the intent to distribute 100 grams of heroin or 250 grams of cocaine base can face fines of $1 million and jail time of five years to life. The mandatory sentence includes at least five years in jail.
If the same person manufactures, sells, distributes, or possesses with the intent to distribute 1,000 grams of heroin can face fines of $1 million and jail time of 20 years to life. The mandatory sentence includes at least 20 years in jail.
Reach Out to Us Today
If you are facing charges for drug trafficking, firearm offenses, or different criminal offenses, you should contact an attorney. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at Simms Showers LLP for help, servicing Leesburg, Winchester, Fairfax, and Manassas.