On August 3, a father and son were arrested on drug trafficking charges in Pueblo. Their case is a good example of how our state levies drug trafficking charges and what you can expect if you find yourself charged.
Let’s take a look.
Investigating an Alleged Father and Son Drug Trafficking Team
The authorities worked with a confidential source for months to monitor the trafficking activity of Felix Baca Sr. and Felix Baca Jr. They allegedly sold ounces of cocaine and heroin, in addition to methamphetamine, during several different transactions. The pair allegedly sold more than 200 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover police officer, which led to their arrests on warrants for unlawful distribution of a schedule II controlled substance.
Upon searching their residences, additional drugs were found in quantities large enough to distribute. Because of this, they also face additional charges of unlawful possession of both heroin and methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
What The Law Says about Drug Trafficking
The Colorado statute on drug trafficking reads:
It is unlawful for any person knowingly to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, or to possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, a controlled substance; or induce, attempt to induce, or conspire with one or more other persons, to manufacture, dispense, sell, distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, a controlled substance; or possess one or more chemicals or supplies or equipment with intent to manufacture a controlled substance.
Recreational marijuana use is legal in Colorado, yet it must fall within legal guidelines or drug trafficking charges can still apply. Also, it is important to remember that marijuana is not legal once it crosses the state border, and law enforcement officials in other states can file drug charges regardless of the amount in your possession.
Here are the limits marijuana drug trafficking charges in Colorado:
- Level 1 drug felony: >50 lbs. marijuana or >25 lbs. concentrate
- Level 2 drug felony: 5-50 lbs. marijuana or 2.5-25 lbs. concentrate
- Level 3 drug felony: 12 oz.-5 lbs. marijuana or 6 oz.-2.5 lbs. concentrate
- Level 4 drug felony: 4-12 oz. marijuana or 2-6 oz. concentrate
How about other drugs? The penalties for distributing controlled substances depend mostly on the type and amount of the drug.
For example, the sale or distribution of 112 grams of an anabolic steroid results in a maximum sentence of six years in prison, while the same amount of heroin or methamphetamine results in a maximum sentence of 32 years in prison. An experienced Denver drug crime attorney will be able to better explain the exact reasoning for the charges and penalties that you face based on the details of your case.
Here are the general sentencing guidelines:
Level 1 drug misdemeanor
Penalties include six to 18 months in jail and between $500 and $5,000 in fines.
Level 3 drug felony
Penalties include two to six years in prison and between $2,000 and $500,000 in fines.
Level 2 drug felony
Penalties include four to 16 years in prison and between $3,000 and $750,000 in fines.
Level 1 drug felony
Penalties include eight to 32 years in prison and between $5,000 and $1 million in fines.
If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Colorado, you may have been involved in the sale and distribution of a significant amount of drugs. As you can see from the information above, long prison sentences are standard for drug trafficking convictions.
A charge, however, is not the same as a conviction. The best way to fight back is to build the strongest possible defense with the help of a criminal defense attorney experienced in drug crime cases. Contact our office right now for a free evaluation.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.