What to Know About Federal Drug Trafficking Charges in Portland, Maine

There are a few laws to be aware of when it comes to federal drug trafficking charges in Portland, Maine. In fact, you might not realize that you do not even have to be caught selling drugs to get a trafficking charge. For instance, after a stop by the police sometimes drug dogs are called out to obtain probable cause. If drugs are found, they may be considered those used in trafficking and then the prosecutor gets the case which is approved for felony drug trafficking. While that is just one scenario, here are a few things you should be aware of.

In order to be guilty in Maine of drug trafficking, a person must knowingly and intentionally traffic in what is believed to be a scheduled drug which is in fact a scheduled drug.

  • Trafficking in schedule W drugs is a class B felony. These drugs include cocaine, opiates such as heroin, oxycodone, or methodone, amphetamines, hallucinogens (including MDA, LSD, MDMA, and barbiturates.)
  • Trafficking in schedule X drugs is a class C felony. These drugs include depressants, hallucinogens, and some tranquilizers such as DMT, hash, mescaline, ketamine, and psilocybin – also known as psychedelic mushrooms.
  • Trafficking in schedule Y drugs is a class D misdemeanor. This includes some hypnotics and sedatives like codeine, phenobarbital, and diazepam.
  • Trafficking in schedule Z drugs is a class D misdemeanor. These drugs are considered the catch-all and includes everything else not listed such as prescription and non-prescription drugs.

Drug Trafficking Classification

There are specific rules for defining drug trafficking classification which includes:

  • Possessing drugs with the intent to trade or sell them
  • Manufacturing drugs
  • Delivery of drugs to someone
  • Trading or bartering drugs for something other than money
  • Possessing more than or including two grams of heroin and there does not have to be any other proof of intent

Larger Amounts

You can also be charged with drug trafficking in Portland, Maine just based on how much you have in your possession and it does not have to include the other reasons like intent to sell or manufacturing. Here is a list of the limits on amounts of drugs that equal a drug trafficking charge.

  • 4 grams or more of crack cocaine
  • 14 grams or more of powder cocaine
  • 100 milligrams or more of hydromorphone
  • Any number of pills that total 800 milligrams or more of oxycodone
  • More than 1 pound of marijuana
  • 90 or more pills containing any other narcotic drug
  • 14 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • 30 or more pills containing MDMA or other similar drugs

Drug trafficking can be charged as a federal crime because the federal government has the authority to make sure that controlled substances are regulated. In many cases, drug charges may start out as Maine State drug charges but are then taken over by federal prosecutors in the States Attorney’s Office.

The problem is that even some people who have loose ties to drug trafficking are charged the same and are sometimes held responsible for the entire amount of drugs. Since these charges are quite severe, you need a criminal defense lawyer who has experience and knowledge of the law and how to help you when you need it most.

You can find the federal law that prohibits illegal possession, distribution, or manufacturing here – 21 USC § 841.

The Law Office of Richard S. Berne has over 40 years of legal experience in criminal defense practice and is is uniquely qualified to effectively represent plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of white collar and criminal defense in State and Federal Courts in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. If you need help with a drug trafficking charge, please contact us so we can help.