September 19, 2023
On May 9, several law enforcement agencies collaborated to arrest 25 individuals for drug trafficking and to issue charges to 12 others in a huge methamphetamine drug bust. The drug ring was in operation as early as July 2015. Police arrested the alleged drug dealers in Colorado, Arizona, and California.
With a big bust like this one, there are almost always an array of charges involved. Below, we’re going to detail just a little bit about what those arrested will face, as well as what the drug trafficking laws and penalties are in Colorado.
How Those in the Recent Denver Methamphetamine Bust Are Being Charged
Charges in the above-mentioned case include the following:
- Conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine
- Knowingly or intentionally distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine
- Intentionally using a communications device in causing or facilitating the commission of a drug felony
- Money laundering
Since the drugs flowed between Colorado, Arizona, and California, they may be charged as federal crimes rather than Colorado state crimes. However, for the sake of this post, we’re going to assume that the associated charges will be based on state law. If that happens, here’s what the arrestees are looking at.
Drug Trafficking Charges in Colorado
The Colorado criminal statutes impose heavy penalties for drug trafficking. An individual can be charged with drug trafficking as long as intent to distribute can be proven by the prosecution. Often a large quantity of a drug is enough to prove intent to distribute.
Penalties are issued according to the type and quantity of drug. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug under Colorado law, based on its power to cause addiction and its lack of medicinal value. For methamphetamine possession, the charges and penalties follow this scale.
Quantity between 5 and 49 grams of pure methamphetamine, or between 50 and 499 grams of a mixture
First offense: Minimum of 5 years and maximum of 40 years in prison. With serious injury or death, minimum of 20 years and maximum of life in prison. Maximum fine of $2 million for individual, $5 million for non-individuals.
Second offense: Minimum of 10 years and maximum of life in prison. With serious injury or death, sentence of life in prison. Maximum fine of $4 million for individual, $10 million for non-individuals.
Quantity is 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine, or 500 grams or more of a mixture
First offense: Minimum of 10 years and maximum of life in prison. With serious injury or death, minimum of 20 years and maximum of life in prison. Maximum fine of $4 million for individual, $10 million for non-individuals.
Second offense: Minimum of 20 years and maximum of life in prison. With serious injury or death, sentence of life in prison. Maximum fine of $8 million for individual, $20 million for non-individuals.
Two or more prior offenses will result in a sentence of life in prison.
Fighting Back Against Colorado Drug Trafficking Charges
If you are facing drug trafficking charges in Colorado, you need the skill of a tough defense attorney. A conviction can permanently alter the course of your life, and you need to call for help as soon as charges are filed against you.
No matter the circumstances of your arrest, you are innocent until proven guilty in court, and you can defend yourself against the charges.
When you hire a highly experienced Denver criminal defense attorney, you can benefit from years of experience winning cases like yours. We have successfully defended others accused of drug trafficking, and we can build a strong defense for you as well. Reach out today for a free consultation.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.