Ocean City Drug Importation Lawyer
In Ocean City, Maryland, there is a separate offense for being a volume dealer. The crime is actually drug importation and to be convicted of this offense, the state must prove that the defendant knowingly brought into the state a controlled dangerous substance and that the amount was equal to or greater than an amount specified by the legislature. If you have been charged, it is of the utmost importance to find a dedicated Ocean City drug lawyer with experience in the Ocean City court system to give you the best chance to minimize the damages from your case.
For example, if somebody brings marijuana into the state and it is forty-five or more kilograms, the person can be charged with a separate charge of importation because of the volume. There is a specified amount for cocaine and LSD and there is a whole list that is provided by statute explaining what the amount is that could lead to somebody being convicted of importation.
That offense carries a separate penalty; the maximum term is twenty-five years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine. That is greater than the maximum penalty for unlawful distribution or possession with intent to distribute for which the maximum penalty is twenty years.
Drug Importation Charges in Ocean City
Drug importation charges in Ocean City are common but they are not charged as often as other drug offenses in Ocean City. Typically, in Ocean City, the felonies that are charged are distribution or possession with intent to distribute. However, there have been instances of importation charges. For someone to be charged with importation, the police investigated and gathered information to identify the person responsible for bringing the drugs into the area.
An importation charge is usually the result of a lengthy investigation by task force officers. They determine the person who is responsible for transporting the drugs into the area where they are separated and given to other dealers to deal them on the street. Interestingly enough, there has been an increase in charges where people are using FedEx or UPS to have a large amount of drugs mailed to them.
Police Investigations Into Drug Importation Charges
Ocean City drug importation cases can be similar to other kinds of drug cases, but typically the investigation is much lengthier and more detailed. With that type of investigation, the police get information from confidential informants. They arrest and make plea deals with the street distributors to find out who is bringing the drugs into the state. The investigation can take several months and requires speaking to a lot of people before getting that kind of information.
Process of Investigations
Investigations into drug importation charges seem to be happening more frequently and involve people who are utilizing UPS, FedEx, or the post office to have a large amount of drugs mailed to them. There are investigations where FedEx or UPS notified the police that there are some unusual packages being mailed or received. Sometimes it is discovered at the post office. Postal employees open the package, determine the contents, and then contact the police. The police may take over at that point and have the package delivered to see who claims it, identify the house where the package is delivered, and make a case from that.
Sometimes the police receive a tip from an anonymous source who lets them know that drugs are being brought into the state or that someone is going to receive a package by mail. Police have gone so far as to disguise themselves as UPS or FedEx employees and make an arrest based on who took the package from them. It certainly can be investigated; it takes more time and contact with many different people to put together an investigation for an importation case.