Drug Trafficking: A Billion Dollar Industry in the US

The use of illegal drug is linked to several major causes of death in the US, including homicide, suicide, violence, HIV infection, motor-vehicle injury, hepatitis and mental illness. This is why the US Federal Government has never stopped, but, rather, still intensified its war against illegal drug trade which heightened starting in the 1970s when various criminal groups from neighboring Mexico started to smuggle marijuana, heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, amphetamine and methamphetamine in the US through various routes.

Drug trafficking generally refers to the importation, exportation, production, sale, distribution and possession of prohibited drugs – a definition that is applied to all types of illegal substances. In its website (http://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ftp3.shtml), the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has posted a table that shows the federal trafficking penalties for illegal drugs falling under schedules I, II, III, IV, and V. It details the number of years in jail and the amount of fines based on the type and quantity of substance seized, and the number of offenses committed.

Because of the serious harm illegal drugs can cause both in the user and on others (who may be victimized by the drug user after the substance takes effect and control his or her thinking), federal and state authorities have been more intense is clamping down on suspected and identified drug traffickers. But, like in their campaign against DUI or DWI, some enforcers sometimes become overzealous, apprehending individuals who may only have been used as fall guys or unknowing couriers by drug crime syndicates or charging first offenders with very serious criminal charges that entail grave punishment.

While blaming authorities for their overzealousness in making arrests may be futile, as they are just concerned with protecting the welfare of the general public, the effect of the charge on those apprehended cannot be belittled as it will seriously affect their personal and professional future.

Many law firms and criminal defense lawyers provide valuable information on how those unjustly charged with a drug trafficking crime may possibly save themselves from a conviction or from being given a severe sentence. Click here to learn more about criminal defense strategies.