Virginia Police Seize Massive Amount of Meth & Arrest Three
Virginia law enforcement seized more than 40 pounds of meth and arrested three people for various drug crimes, according to an article by The News Virginian.
The Waynesboro Police Department collaborated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to execute the seizure and arrests. The law enforcement officers involved apparently used cutting-edge techniques to intercept a shipment of meth destined for distribution within the region.
After identifying the suspected vehicle in question, law enforcement officers executed a traffic stop and called in a K-9 unit for assistance. The officers searched the suspect vehicle with the K-9 unit and discovered approximately 41 pounds of meth. This amount of meth has a probable street value of approximately $2 million.
As a result of this incident, three people with face charges for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. While each of them awaits their day in court, it seems appropriate to examine the definition of, and punishment for, possession with intent to distribute under Virginia law.
What is the Definition of Possession with Intent to Distribute?
The definition of possession with intent to distribute appears under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248. Possession with intent to distribute is defined as: having control of any controlled substance, including meth, and planning on distributing, giving, selling, or manufacturing the substance.
In addition, Section 18.2-248 makes it illegal to possess a controlled substance under circumstances which indicate an intent to distribute, give, sell, or manufacture. This crime of intention is punishable in the same way as a completed distribution crime.
It is relevant to note that possession with intent to distribute is different from regular possession crimes under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-250. The punishment is much less severe if the crime is possession without an intent to distribute.
What is the Punishment for Possession with Intent to Distribute?
The punishment for possession with intent to distribute also appears under Section 18.2-248. Generally, this offense is punishable as a felony for Schedule I/II controlled substances:
- First Offense — Prison sentence of five to 40 years and criminal fines up to $500,000;
- Second Offense — Prison sentence of five years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000; or
- Third or Subsequent Offense — Prison sentence of 10 years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000.
That being said, Section 18.2-248 provides a special punishment for certain offenses involving meth, including actual distribution or possession with intent to distribute. Any person who commits these criminal offenses with respect to possession of:
- 10 grams or more — Can face a prison sentence of five years to life and criminal fines up to $1 million; or
- 100 grams or more — Can face a prison sentence of 20 years to life and criminal fines up to $1 million.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about Virginia charges for a drug crime, it can be thoroughly practical to speak with a Leesburg drug crime lawyer. The lawyers at Simms Showers LLP have proven capabilities in the field of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.