Virginia Police Bust Meth Operation & Arrest 3 People
The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office completed a long-running investigation by arresting three people for meth distribution and other drug crimes, according to an article by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. During a motel room search, law enforcement uncovered a significant amount of illegal drugs and numerous firearms.
Law enforcement initiated the final steps of this drug bust last month, when they arrested a 33-year-old male suspect in possession of eight grams of meth and a firearm. The 33-year-old male suspect faces three charges for meth distribution as well as other drug and weapon crimes.
Thereafter, law enforcement also arrested a 49-year-old female suspect and a 28-year-old male suspect in connection with this operation. The female suspect faces two charges for conspiracy. While the 28-year-old male suspect faces three charges for drug crimes and one firearm charge.
While the two males and one female associated with this case wait for their days in court, it seems appropriate to review Virginia-specific penalties for the distribution or production of meth.
Penalties for Meth Distribution
The penalties for meth distribution and possession with intent to distribute appear under Code of Section 18.2-248. Under this section, there is a general penalty assessed for the distribution of any Schedule I or II illegal drug, including meth. Upon conviction, the offender is guilty of a felony and faces a prison sentence of at least five years and fines up to $500,000.
That being said, there are increasingly harsh penalties for distributing larger amounts of meth under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.03. Under this section, meth distribution of:
- 28 grams or more is punishable by $500,000 in fines and a maximum of 40 years in prison, of which three years is the mandatory minimum sentence; and
- 227 grams or more is punishable by $1,000,000 in fines and a maximum of life in prison, of which five years is the mandatory minimum sentence.
Penalties for Meth Production
In addition to the penalties for distribution, Section 18.2-248 also outlines special penalties for certain meth production operations. From a general standpoint, the Virginia courts have the authority to order restitution payment in certain circumstances.
Specifically, the Virginia courts may order restitution for any property damaged, destroyed, or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of meth production. The courts may award the actual or estimated costs for cleaning, removing, or repairing the damaged property.
If the meth producer owned the damaged property, totally or partially, restitution may still be appropriate. In those circumstances, the convicted meth producer will pay restitution to the Methamphetamine Cleanup Fund pursuant to Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.04. If is not possible to calculate or estimate the cleanup costs, then the offender will pay $10,000 into this fund.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal help with Virginia drug crimes, it can be extremely valuable to consult with a seasoned Leesburg drug crime lawyer. The lawyers at Simms Showers LLP have assisted many clients with criminal charges for drug crimes across Virginia, including meth distribution and production. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.