Virginia Woman Busted for Drug Trafficking and Conspiracy
Using a former drug dealer turned informant, police busted a 43-year-old woman from Elkton, Virginia for attempting to purchase methamphetamines, as reported by The Free Lance-Star.
The Elkton woman contacted her usual drug supplier to purchase approximately 128 grams of methamphetamines. But she did not know that police had turned the supplier into an informant. After arresting the woman, police charged her with attempted possession with the intent to distribute and conspiracy.
In order to understand the impact of the Elkton woman’s crimes, it will be beneficial to review Virginia laws and penalties concerning drug distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and conspiracy.
The Crime of Drug Distribution in Virginia
As detailed in Code of Virginia section 18.2-248, it is a crime to fabricate, sell, or disseminate illegal drugs. It is also a crime to possess illegal drugs with the intent to fabricate, sell, or disseminate.
Referred to legally as controlled substances, illegal drugs are divided into schedules in Virginia. The most dangerous and addictive drugs appear in Schedule I, such as heroin and ecstasy. The drugs in Schedule II are slightly less dangerous but severely addictive nonetheless, such as cocaine and methamphetamines.
The Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Virginia
Virginia employs a complex and multifaceted scheme to penalize drug trafficking. The penalties vary based on the amount of any type of controlled substance. On a threshold level, drug trafficking or possession with intent to distribute is a felony offense.
In terms of methamphetamines, specifically, Virginia has specific penalties in place. Please find below the Virginia penalties for drug trafficking or possession with intent to distribute 200 grams or less of methamphetamines.
- First Offense – Conviction may result in 10 to 40 years in jail and $500,000 in fines;
- Second Offense – Conviction may result in 10 years to life in jail and $500,000 in fines; and
- Third or Subsequent Offense – Conviction may result in 10 years to life in jail, with a mandatory minimum of three years, and $500,000 in fines.
The Crime of Conspiracy in Virginia
As established in Code of Virginia section 18.2-22, it is unlawful to conspire, confederate, or combine with another person to commit a felony crime. In other words, it is illegal for several people to plan to commit a felony crime, whether or not they actually succeed.
The Penalties for Conspiracy in Virginia
Virginia uses a shifting scheme to penalize conspiracy crimes. The penalties for conspiracy are added to the penalties for the underlying felony crime. Though it is important to note that the punishment for conspiracy cannot exceed the punishment for the underlying felony crime.
There are three main branches of penalties for conspiracy crimes in Virginia:
- Capital Crimes – A person who conspires to commit a capital felony crime punishable by death faces up to 20 years in jail and $100,000 in fines;
- Other Felonies – A person who conspires to commit noncapital felonies faces up to 10 years in jail and $2,500 in fines; and
- Lesser Crimes – A person who conspires to commit a felony punishable by less than five years in jail faces 12 months in jail and $500 in fines.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you are facing charges for drug trafficking, conspiracy, or other criminal offenses, there are countless benefits to retaining an adept criminal defense attorney. Contact the attorneys at Simms Showers LLP today for assistance, servicing Leesburg, Winchester, Fairfax, and Manassas.