Kathleen Landry, a Canadian citizen, was arrested after $2 million worth of heroin was found in her vehicle on Highway 99 in Modesto, California. The 83 pounds of heroin were discovered during a routine traffic stop when a drug-sniffing dog alerted officers to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle.
It is unclear whether or not the drugs originated in Canada or whether the defendant crossed state lines. It is also unknown whether this is the defendant’s first drug offense. Landry was arrested for possession of drugs, as well as for the sale and transport of drugs.
HOW MUCH JAIL TIME DOES SHE FACE?
Heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance and the penalties of the possession, sale, and transport of heroin are outlined in the United States Controlled Substances Act as well as punishable under California law. A Schedule I narcotic is one that has a high potential for abuse and does not have a legalized medical use.
In California, heroin offenses and their resulting penalties are codified under California’s Health & Safety Sections 11000 and 11350. There are several factors that will impact whether or not the defendant is prosecuted under state or federal law including the number of drugs involved and whether or not the defendant crossed state or international borders with the narcotics.
There are a number of crimes of which Landry could be convicted including:
- Intent to distribute
- Drug trafficking
Under California law, heroin possession is a felony punishable by a prison sentence of 16 months to three years. Drug trafficking or possession with the intent to sell is a federal offense in California. Generally, the punishment for possessing heroin for sale in California is two, three or four years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.00. However, since the defendant possessed more than the one-kilogram maximum, she could face an additional three to 25 years in prison and fines up to $8 million under California law.
Federal drug trafficking charges are more severe than those under California law. A first offense federal drug trafficking charge will result in five to 40 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million. A second offense federal drug trafficking charge could result in a prison sentence of 10 years to a lifetime sentence and a maximum fine of $8 million.
HOW COMMON IS DRUG TRAFFICKING?
Drug trafficking is a serious problem in the U.S. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) makes over 30,000 arrests involving the sale and distribution of drugs each year. Illegal drug sales in the U.S. reach an estimated range of $200 to $750 billion a year. Preventing drug trafficking from Canada into the United States is difficult due to the length and geography of the border, as well as the numerous types of indigenous and international groups that smuggle drugs across it.
ASSISTANCE FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGES
Those facing drug trafficking charges could be sent to prison for a long time. If you or someone you know has been charged with this offense, consulting with an experienced drug trafficking attorney is a good idea. Google does not have all the answers, and nothing can replace a license to practice law when you’re trying to obtain reliable information. Call (844) 524-4011 to obtain a free case evaluation from one of our legal professionals.