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Virginia Police Complete Investigation Into Drug Crimes

DrugArrest2

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (“LCSO”) announced the conclusion of a three-year investigation into various drug crimes, according to an article by the Loudoun Times-Mirror.

In collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (“EDVA”), the LCSO effectuated the largest seizure of illegal drugs and illicit goods in Loudoun County history. Law enforcement seized approximately $7 million worth of:

  • Cannabis;
  • Cocaine;
  • Crack cocaine;
  • Fentanyl;
  • Heroin;
  • Firearms; and
  • Cash.

According to court documents, it seems the perpetrators of this scheme utilized a commercial shipping company to transport illegal substances and goods from California to Virginia. The shipping company was apparently unaware that this was happening behind the scenes.

As a result of this investigation, three men face federal charges for drug crimes. Even though this situation played out in federal court, it is an excellent lens with which to evaluate Virginia state laws against the distribution or trafficking of illegal drugs and other controlled substances.

Distributing Illegal Drugs in Virginia

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248 prohibits the distribution, manufacturing, gifting, or selling of illegal drugs and other controlled substances. It is also illegal to possess these substances under circumstances that indicate an intent to do any of the previous actions.

The following list explains the general penalties for distributing Schedule I/II controlled substances, including many of the illegal drugs at issue in the story above:

  • First Offense — Charged as a felony and punishable by imprisonment for five to 40 years and criminal fines up to $500,000;
  • Second Offense — Charged as a felony and punishable by imprisonment for five years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000; or
  • Third or Subsequent Offense — Charged as a felony and punishable by imprisonment for 10 years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000.

The penalty for a distribution crime in violation of Section 18.2-248 can change based on the circumstances of the offense. For example, the punishment becomes more severe for the distribution, manufacture, gift, or sale of larger amounts of illicit substances.

Trafficking Illegal Drugs in Virginia

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.01 bars both the actual trafficking of and intention to traffic illegal drugs and other controlled substances. Trafficking differs from distribution in a few factors, such as the amount of drugs involved, the defendant’s criminal history, and whether the substances were taken across state lines.

Any person who violates Section 18.2-248.01 will likely face the punishment scheme below:

  • First Offense — Charged as a felony and punishable by imprisonment for five to 40 years and criminal fines up to $1,000,000, including a mandatory minimum of imprisonment for three years; or
  • Second or Subsequent Offense — Charged as a felony and punishable by imprisonment for five to 40 years and criminal fines up to $1,000,000, including a mandatory minimum of imprisonment for 10 years.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you need legal assistance with Virginia charges for a drug crime, it is important to reach out to a skilled Leesburg drug crimes lawyer. The lawyers at Simms Showers LLP are prepared to begin working on your case today.

Resource:

loudountimes.com/news/updated-investigation-leads-to-largest-drug-seizure-in-loudoun-history/article_584f4a26-be4b-11eb-8a3f-c797a0e32217.html

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