Virginia Woman Convicted Of Federal Distribution Drug Crime
A jury returned a guilty verdict against a Virginia woman in a federal case for distribution drug crimes, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to court records, the distribution drug crimes occurred between January 2014 and May 2017. Throughout this time period, the Virginia woman conspired with a partner to distribute more than 1,000 grams of heroin. The Virginia woman also faced federal money laundering charges for collecting and spending proceeds from the distribution drug crimes, including the establishment of a liquor store business.
As a result of her actions, the Virginia woman faced federal charges for possession of heroin with intent to distribute and money laundering. After the jury reached a guilty verdict, this case is proceeding to sentencing. A federal judge will decide an appropriate sentence within the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
Even though the charges in question relate to federal law, this appears to be an excellent opportunity to review the Virginia laws against and penalties for distribution drug crimes.
Distribution Drug Crimes in Virginia
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248 makes it illegal to distribute, manufacture, sell, or give away any controlled substance. This prohibition includes heroin, which is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under Virginia law.
In addition, Section 18.2-248 makes it unlawful to possess any controlled substance while demonstrating an intent to distribute, manufacture, sell, or gift such substance. In this context, intent can be inferred based on numerous factors, including, but not limited to, the quantity of controlled substance in question.
Penalties for Distribution Drug Crimes in Virginia
Section 18.2-248 also explains the penalties for distribution drug crimes in Virginia. The penalties fluctuate, however, based on the number of previous offenses, classification, and quantity of controlled substance in question.
For Schedule I controlled substances like heroin, distribution or possession with intent crimes are punishable as follows:
- Less than 100 grams (first offense) — Felony that includes imprisonment for five to 40 years and criminal fines up to $500,000;
- Less than 100 grams (second offense) — Felony that includes imprisonment for five years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000;
- Less than 100 grams (third or subsequent offense) — Felony that includes imprisonment for 10 years to life and criminal fines up to $500,000;
- At least 100 grams — Felony that includes imprisonment for five years to life and criminal fines up to $1,000,000; or
- At least 1,000 grams — Felony that includes imprisonment for 20 years to life and criminal fines up to $1,000,000.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with Virginia charges for a drug crime, we can help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the skilled Leesburg drug crimes lawyers at Simms Showers LLP today.