Facing Federal Charges
Quinton Mitchell, a Bahamian national, was arrested last week and now is facing federal charges in the alleged marijuana trafficking operation off Jupiter Island. There were 3 other men involved in pot smuggling operation and authorities are still searching for the other passengers who were on the boat.
To help with investigation, other agencies were involved and they include: investigators from Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Jupiter Island police, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Florida Fish and Wildlife.
According to federal officials, the bales of marijuana weighed about 520 pounds in total and that the street value of the drugs was estimated to be about $1.6 million. Mitchell made his initial appearance Wednesday before a U.S. magistrate and faces charges of importation of controlled substances involving 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. A pre-trial detention hearing is scheduled for Dec. 6. Full story, source
Drug trafficking is the term used to describe the production, distribution and sale of illegal drugs. In the United States, such drugs include cocaine, heroin, PCP, LSD, methamphetamines and marijuana. Penalties for drug trafficking may vary, but in most places penalties are intended to be severe enough to discourage individuals from engaging in selling drugs.
Quick Facts on Marijuana Trafficking Offenses
- There were 84,173 cases reported to the Unites States Sentencing Commission (USSC) in fiscal year 2012
- Of these cases, 24,563 involved dug trafficking
- 27.7% of drug trafficking offenses involved marijuana
What Are Federal Marijuana Laws?
Federal marijuana laws are the laws that the federal government enacts to criminalize marijuana possession, sale, and cultivation. Each U.S. state also passes their own marijuana laws, but when these laws are in conflict with the federal rules, the federal rules control. To violate a federal law, ANY amount of marijuana will suffice. Another important note is that distribution of a small amount of marijuana for no money is usually treated as simple possession.
What is the Federal Response to State Marijuana Initiatives?
In enacting the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington state also passed initiatives legalizing marijuana for adults 21 and older under state law. As with state medical marijuana laws, it is important to note that Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is committed to enforcing the CSA consistent with these determinations. On August 29, 2013, DOJ issued guidance to Federal prosecutors concerning marijuana enforcement under the CSA. (source: whitehouse.gov)
People, politicians, lobbyists, and legislators across the nation are embroiled in a debate about whether marijuana – also known as cannabis, pot, weed, ganja, bud, hydro, and chronic – should remain illegal as a medical substance and/or as a recreational substance. Some states, like California, have decided that marijuana is an acceptable medical substance, while other states, like Colorado, have decided to legalize marijuana as a recreational substance as well.
While 20 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, and 14 states have legalized cannabis for recreational use, the controversial drug has remained an illicit and controlled substance in Florida.
When you think of being arrested in Florida, you typically think of a situation involving the local police where violations of state law, such as for DUI, assault, and state drug offenses, are charges. However, the federal government has its own set of rules regarding many different kinds of crimes, and an offender facing federal charges will do so according to the federal criminal process.
While this is not necessarily better or worse than facing state charges, it is different, with different procedures, different rules, and a different court environment. When facing federal charges in Palm Beach County or anywhere else in Florida, it can be critical to your defense to have a criminal defense attorney by your side who understands the differences, benefits, and challenges in federal cases. Attorney Stine has trial experience in all federal district courts throughout Florida and in Boston Massachusetts, where he was admitted Pro Hac Vice in a full scale large drug trafficking case that originated in South Florida .
Andrew Stine has over 10 years of experience defending clients like you, and knows what it takes to defeat both state and federal charges in the courtroom and before trial. To find out more information about how Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can help you with your federal charges call 561.880.4300 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.