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Fort Worth criminal defense attorney drug trafficking

Drug trafficking is never a one-man operation. In some cases, the drug sales may be moving locally across various hands while in others the drug trafficking operation can span across the globe. A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas indicted eight individuals for their illicit involvement in an international drug trafficking conspiracy. Only one of the people involved is actually from Texas despite the case happening in a Texas court. So why is the case taking place in the Lone Star State and what are the charges being made?

Texas As Home Base

Eight individuals, including 40-year-old Carlos Villaurrutia of McAllen, Texas, were charged with conspiracies to manufacture and distribute cocaine, commit money laundering, commit wire fraud, commit export violations, and commit federal registration violations involving an aircraft. According to the indictment, these eight people have been involved in approximately $350 million in alleged criminal offenses over the past five years. 

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Collin County criminal defense attorney drug trafficking

Young, college-age kids are notorious for pushing the envelope. Whether that involves going against their parents’ wishes, drinking underage, or trying illegal substances, one defiant action can quickly lead to a series of poor decisions. Drinking under the age of 21 can also result in a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge depending on the circumstances, and trying a single drug can often result in a life riddled by drug crimes. Those involved in drug rings recognize young adults’ willingness to try drugs and the likelihood of them getting hooked on these substances. With this in mind, many will target college-age kids to create regular customers of their products, many of which are not the drug that they think they are.

UT Students at Risk

In early December, authorities busted a drug trafficking operation that targeted the University of Texas (UT) students. At least 13 people were charged in connection with the scheme, including current and former UT students. Authorities reported that the drug ring sold counterfeit prescription drugs, claimed to be Adderall and Xanax, to students that were laced with methamphetamine and fentanyl. Adderall and Xanax are regulated and legitimate prescription medications that many students will purchase in the hopes that they will improve their studying and focus before major assignments or exams. Purchasing these drugs without a prescription is a crime in and of itself, but finding out that the regulated, FDA-approved medication is laced with dangerous substances was not what the students signed up for.

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Fort Worth criminal law attorney federal drug crimes

The manufacturepossession, and distribution of illicit drugs are prosecuted by both state governments and the federal government. Any drug-related criminal charge can lead to harsh penalties but federal offenses are often penalized more severely than crimes prosecuted by the state. If you have been charged with drug possession with intent to distribute, drug trafficking, or drug manufacturing, it is crucial that you speak with a criminal defense attorney. Federal drug crimes are often punished by lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines. Your attorney can help you defend yourself against these charges and ensure that your rights are fully protected.  

Federal Drug Offenses Often Involve the Transportation of Drugs Across State Lines

Often, a drug offense is prosecuted by the federal government because the defendant is alleged to have transported drugs from one state to another or imported the drugs into the U.S. from another country. You may also face federal charges if the crime you allegedly committed:

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Fort Worth federal drug charges defense attorney

It seems as if drug laws in the United States are constantly changing. In 1970, the federal Controlled Substances Act classified cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug and prohibited the use of the substance for both medical and recreational purposes. In 1996, California became the first state to allow the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions. Today, marijuana may legally be used for medical purposes in the majority of the United States, and it is has been legalized for recreational use in 11 states. However, it is important to remember that a number of state and federal laws still regulate the purchase, use, cultivation, and transportation of cannabis. In some cases, a person may even face federal drug trafficking charges for moving cannabis across state lines.

Federal Laws Regulating the Transport of Marijuana

One of the most confusing aspects of cannabis laws in the United States is that although the substance is legal in many states, it still remains illegal at the federal level. According to the federal government, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Interstate transportation of marijuana or cannabis-related products is a federal crime as well as a state crime. Even if you purchase marijuana in a state in which it is legal, it is a crime to transport the drug into another state.

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