What are the punishments for federal drug trafficking in New York?
Federal drug trafficking crimes in New York can lead to some of the harshest punishments in the country. The main federal laws used to prosecute drug trafficking in New York include:
- 21 USC 841 – prohibits drug distribution, manufacturing, and possession with intent to distribute
- 21 USC 846 – prohibits attempting or conspiring to commit a drug offense like distribution or possession with intent
- 21 USC 952 – prohibits importing controlled substances into the U.S., including at ports of entry like JFK Airport
- 21 USC 963 – prohibits attempting/conspiring to import drugs
Penalties depend on the drug type and quantity involved. Even small amounts can lead to mandatory minimum sentences of 5-10 years or more. For example:
- 5+ kilos of cocaine – 10 years to life
- 280+ grams of crack cocaine – 10 years to life
- 40+ grams of fentanyl – 10 years to life
- 100+ grams of heroin – 10 years to life
Penalties are even more severe for second offenses, offenses involving death/injury, offenses involving minors, and large-scale trafficking operations. Fines up to $10 million can also be imposed.
Possible defenses to federal drug trafficking charges include:
- Lack of intent
- Unlawful search
- Sentencing entrapment
An experienced federal drug crimes lawyer can help evaluate defenses and options like plea bargains. Don’t wait to get help fighting the case.
Sentencing and Early Release
Mandatory minimums can’t be reduced but charges may potentially be reduced through:
- Plea negotiations
- Cooperating with prosecutors
- Pretrial diversion programs
The main possibilities for early release are:
- Providing substantial assistance to prosecutors
- Applying for compassionate release in extraordinary circumstances
Getting charged with federal drug trafficking in New York can easily lead to a decade or more in prison even for first offenses or lower-level crimes. These long mandatory minimum sentences make it vital to have an experienced federal drug defense lawyer to fight the charges.