Drug Trafficking

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines drug trafficking as "a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws." Title 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) defines the term "drug trafficking crime” as "any felony punishable under the Controlled Substances Act, the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act, or Chapter 705 of Title 46 of the U.S. Code. In Texas, drug trafficking crimes are often prosecuted as manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance violation.

Drug trafficking is often thought to be synonymous with drug dealing, but people can face serious penalties simply for possessing large amounts of an illegal drug, even if authorities do not have evidence that the alleged offender actually intended to sell it. Because Texas sits on the Mexican border, both state and federal officials are constantly on the lookout for controlled substances being moved through the area.

Attorney for Drug Trafficking Arrests in Conroe, TX

If you were arrested or think that you could be under investigation for an alleged drug trafficking offense anywhere in Montgomery County or Harris County, it is in your best interest to not say anything to authorities until you have legal counsel.

Evans & Powell, PLLC aggressively defends clients accused of drug crimes in Woodbranch, Magnolia, Patton Village, Pinehurst, Splendora, Spring, The Woodlands, Willis, and several surrounding areas of Harris County and Montgomery County.

Sean Evans and Frank Powell are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Conroe who can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. You can have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (936) 622-2000 to take advantage of a free initial consultation.


Montgomery County Drug Trafficking Information Center


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Texas Drug Trafficking Penalties

Drug trafficking offenses in Texas are typically prosecuted as manufacture or delivery of a substance listed in one of the six penalty groups established under the Texas Controlled Substances Act (Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code).

Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002(8), "deliver" is defined as "to transfer, actually or constructively, to another a controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or drug paraphernalia, regardless of whether there is an agency relationship" (the term includes offering to sell a controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or drug paraphernalia, and delivery is defined as the act of delivering). Manufacture is defined under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002(25) as "the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of a controlled substance other than marihuana, directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of natural origin, independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes the packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container."

The definition of manufacture does not include activities performed by an authorized practitioner as an incident to the practitioner's administering or dispensing a controlled substance in the course of professional practice, or by a practitioner, or by an authorized agent under the supervision of the practitioner, for or as an incident to research, teaching, or chemical analysis and not for delivery.

Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance crimes are graded according to the type and amount of the illegal drug involved.

Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.112

Penalty Group 1 under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.102 includes such drugs as oxycodone, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1 offenses are graded as follows:

Amount

Classification

Less than 1 gram

State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and fine of up to $10,000

1 gram or more but less than 4 grams

Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000

4 grams or more but less than 200 grams

First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $10,000

200 grams or more but less than 400 grams

First-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $100,000

400 grams or more

First-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 15 years up to 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $250,000

Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1122, manufacture or delivery of substance in Penalty Group 1 offenses classified as state jail or second-degree felonies can be increased by one degree if a child younger than 18 years of age was present on the premises where the alleged offense was committed. The minimum term of imprisonment may be increased to 15 years and the maximum fine may be increased to $150,000 for offenses involving 200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams. The minimum term of imprisonment is increased to 20 years and the maximum fine is increased to $300,000 for offenses involving 400 grams or more.

Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1-A, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1121

Penalty Group 1-A under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1021 includes lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and its analogs. Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1-A offenses are graded as follows:

Amount

Classification

Fewer than 20 units

State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and fine of up to $10,000

20 or more but fewer than 80 units

Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000

80 or more but fewer than 4,000 units

First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $10,000

4,000 or more units

First-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 15 years up to 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $250,000

Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 2 or 2-A, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.113

Penalty Group 2 under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.103 includes 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy, or Molly), phencyclidine (PCP), psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and mescaline.

Penalty Group 2-A consists of any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that contains any quantity of a natural or synthetic chemical substance, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, listed by name in Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1031 or contained within one of the structural classes defined in that subsection. Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 2 or 2-A offenses are graded as follows:

Amount

Classification

Less than 1 gram

State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and fine of up to $10,000

1 gram or more but less than 4 grams

Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000

4 grams or more but less than 200 grams

First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $10,000

400 grams or more

First-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $100,000

Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4, Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.114

Penalty Group 3 under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.104 includes Xanax, Ambien, Valium, Zolpidem, and several other prescription drugs, while Penalty Group 4 under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.105 includes substances with limited quantities of narcotics that also contain one or more non-narcotic active medical ingredient. Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4 offenses are graded as follows:

Amount

Classification

Less than 28 grams

State jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and fine of up to $10,000

28 grams or more but less than 200 grams

Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000

200 grams or more but less than 400 grams

First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $10,000

400 grams or more

First-degree felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $100,000


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Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties

Because many alleged drug trafficking crimes involve controlled substances being transported into or through Texas, the illegal drugs often cross state lines and trigger federal criminal charges. Federal drug crimes are established under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the agencies that investigate and prosecute these crimes often have far greater resources than their state counterparts.

Federal penalties for drug trafficking cases are as follows:

Controlled Substance

Amount

Fine

Prison Sentence

Cocaine

500-4,999 grams

First Offense: Mandatory minimum five year sentence up to 40 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

28-279 grams

Fentanyl

40-399 grams

Fentanyl analogue

10-99 grams

Heroin

100-999 grams

LSD

1-9 grams

Pure methamphetamine

5-49 grams

Methamphetamine mixture

50-499 grams

Pure PCP

10-99 grams

PCP mixture

100-999 grams

Cocaine

5 kilograms or more

First Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

Third or Subsequent Offense: Life in prison.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Third or Subsequent Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

280 grams or more

Fentanyl

400 grams or more

Fentanyl analogue

100 grams or more

Heroin

1 kilogram or more

LSD

10 grams or more

Pure methamphetamine

50 grams or more

Methamphetamine mixture

500 grams or more

Pure PCP

100 grams or more

PCP mixture

1 kilogram or more

Other Schedule I and Schedule II Substances

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals.

Any drug product containing gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)

Any amount

Flunitrazepam

1 gram or more

Marijuana

Less than 50 kilograms marijuana (Not including 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of  weight), or 1 to 49 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

Hashish

10 kilograms or less

Hashish Oil

1 kilogram or less

Marijuana

50 to 99 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 50 to 99 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals.

Hashish

More than 10 kilograms

Hashish Oil

More than 1 kilogram

Marijuana

100 to 999 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 100 to 999 marijuana  plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum five year sentence up to 40 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Marijuana

1,000 kilograms or more marijuana mixture, or 1,000 or more marijuana plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Other Schedule III Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 10 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, up to 15 years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, up to 30 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2.5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

All other Schedule IV Drugs (other than one gram or more of Flunitrazepam)

Any amount

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

All Schedule V Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to one year in prison.

Second Offense: Up to four years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $100,000 for individuals, $250,000 for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $200,000 for individuals, $500,000 for non-individuals.


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Texas Drug Trafficking Resources

Narcotics Enforcement Team | Montgomery County Sheriff's Office — The mission of the Montgomery County Narcotics Enforcement Team (MOCONET) is "to measurably reduce Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) and Money Laundering Organizations (MLO) by disrupting, dismantling, and successfully prosecuting narcotics trafficking organizations involved in the importation, transportation, manufacture, distribution, sale, or use of illegal drugs domestically manufactured or smuggled across U.S. borders." MOCONET is comprised of undercover detectives from numerous local and state law enforcement agencies as well as its federal law enforcement partners from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office Air and Marine Unit and the Houston Office of Homeland Security Investigations. Visit this website to learn more about MOCONET and its duties.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
1 Criminal Justice Dr.
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 760-5871

Stop Drugs Montgomery County — The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program (HIDTA) is a drug-prohibition enforcement program run by the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Houston HIDTA region includes Montgomery County, Harris County, and 19 other neighboring counties. Stop Drugs Montgomery County is a multijurisdictional website supported by local, state, and federal agencies that allows the public to submit anonymous drug crime tips and wanted drug fugitive tips within the Houston HIDTA territory. You can submit anonymous tips for drug-related criminal activity or wanted drug figitives.


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Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer

Do you believe that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested for a drug trafficking crime in Montgomery County or Harris County? Do not speak to authorities without first contacting Evans & Powell, PLLC.

Conroe criminal defense attorneys Sean Evans and Frank Powell represent individuals in communities throughout Harris County and Montgomery County, such as Willis, Cut and Shoot, Oak Ridge North, Panorama Village, Porter Heights, Shenandoah, Spring, The Woodlands, and many others.

Call (936) 622-2000 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.



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