The day after President Trump signed a bill to end the longest government shutdown in history, customs made the largest fentanyl seizure ever recorded at any port of entry in the United States.
Largest Fentanyl Seizure Ever Recorded
Last month, cfficers stationed at the commercial border crossing in Nogales found 254 pounds of fentanyl inside a hidden floor compartment of an 18-wheeler carrying cucumbers. While it’s still unclear of the purity of what was seized, the bust contained enough fentanyl to kill more than 115 million people, according to investigators in the case.
In addition to the fentanyl, officers also seized 395 pounds of methamphetamine. Combined, the two drug busts have an estimated street value of $4.6 million.
The 254 pounds seized is more than the 155 pounds of fentanyl that officers seized at all six border crossings in Arizona during the last fiscal year.
Being accused of committing a drug crime is a very serious matter. With all the “law speak” that gets thrown around in these cases, it’s often hard for a person to fully understand the allegations they might be facing. That’s why it’s always advised that you work with a criminal defense lawyer if you have been accused of a drug crime.
Here are some of the most common drug-related crimes that are charged and prosecuted in Arizona include:
- Possession of illegal drugs: Being found in possession of illegal drugs can include possessing any quantity of marijuana, narcotics such as cocaine and heroin, and/or possessing dangerous drugs like methamphetamine, ecstasy and clonazepam. In the case of marijuana, your sentence can depend on the quantity of drugs.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia: Drug paraphernalia includes items used to store, ingest, conceal, or perform other actions with drugs. Common types of paraphernalia include pipes, bongs, syringes, baggies, and scales. Penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia are increased where the paraphernalia is used to manufacture, cultivate, and/or distribute a drug (such as a scale and lamps used to grow marijuana).
- Distribution of illegal drugs: Distribution of drugs can describe not only the sale of drugs but any other transfer of drugs from one person to another. If you share marijuana with a friend, for example, you have “distributed” drugs. Monetary compensation is not necessary to sustain a conviction for drug distribution. Additional penalties can be imposed if you are found to be distributing a drug in a school zone.
- Prescription-drug offenses: Common criminal acts relating to prescription drugs include possessing or using a drug that is only available by prescription if you do not have a valid prescription for it and can include using or possessing another person’s prescription drug.
- Using communication facilities to arrange a drug transaction: It is a criminal act to use a communication device (most commonly a telephone or cellular telephone) to assist you in arranging a drug-related transaction. Sending a text message to another person indicating where to meet to exchange drugs is one of the most common way in which these laws are violated.
Can You Win Your Drug Case?
There are many factors that will contribute to winning your drug case. Did the police overstep their boundaries? Were you aware of the drugs? A skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to build a case based on the particulars of your situation and is the best first step you can take to beating your drug charges.
There are a number of defenses that could apply to your situation. Below we discuss a few of them.
For you to be found guilty of a possession charge, there must be evidence that you knew that the items found were drugs and/or paraphernalia. So if you did not know about the drugs, your criminal defense attorney might want to build his or her case around that fact.
Were all the correct steps followed during the arrest?
The Miranda warning which was decided in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Miranda v. Arizona decision, requires that an officer must make a person aware of certain facts prior to questioning him or her during an arrest. It must be conveyed prior to an interrogation that:
“You have the right to remain silent.
If you do say anything, it can be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.”
Remember that police or other law enforcement officers must have a warrant to enter into your home or business. This is crucial as for many drug cases, evidence of drugs and/or paraphernalia is found as the result of a search. Demand to see the warrant. If they have a search warrant, you cannot stop them from entering and searching your home or business. Do not answer any questions and request to contact an attorney. If the search is conducted in an improper manner, or in a way that violates your constitutional rights, then certain evidence may be prohibited from being admitted into evidence at a hearing or trial. This can result in the prosecution being unable to proceed with its case.
The best thing you can do if you have been accused of a drug crime is to contact a criminal defense attorney. They will be able to review the specifics of your case and build your best defense.
The Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal law covers a wide variety of topics, including DUI defense, petty theft, drug crimes, grand theft, and sex crimes just to name a few. If you have been accused of any form of crime, it is always advised that you work with a criminal law attorney like the ones at Ferragut Law Firm.
Because the average person does not have an understanding of the criminal justice process, which comprises a number of complex state and federal laws, it’s always advised that you work with a criminal defense lawyer.
Criminal defense lawyers assist clients as their case moves through the criminal justice process, from pre-trial and through the conclusion of the trial proceedings. In some cases, when a client suspects that they might be charged with a crime a client will make the decision to retain a lawyer before they have even been charged. If you have been involved in a criminal incident and have suspicions that you might need a lawyer, it’s best to hire one as quickly as possible as they will be able to provide you with guidance on how to proceed. The earlier an attorney is involved in a case, the more protection they can offer, and even in times ensure that a suspect does not divulge any potentially incriminating information.
A criminal defense lawyer will also be able to advise a client on if a case can even be brought against their client. In cases where there is insufficient evidence, a lawyer’s main objective will be to have the court drop the charges against a client. There are many avenues of defense that a lawyer can apply, including challenging probable cause, persuading a court to reduce or waive bail, and negotiating a plea bargain to reduce charges to a lesser crime or reduce sentencing.
The role of a criminal defense lawyer will be entirely based on the case that is presented and the type of defense that a client needs. Obtaining the help of a criminal defense lawyer early on in your case can mean the difference between guilty and not guilty.
Working with Ferragut Law Firm
Ferragut Law Firm is a top rated criminal defense law firm based in Phoenix Arizona. We are dedicated exclusively to the practice of criminal law in all state, federal, and city courts throughout the State of Arizona.
Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive advocacy, while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.
We are committed to providing the most aggressive, professional, and effective representation for our clients accused of crimes to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that the best possible results are achieved. Contact us to discuss the details of your case.
One Renaissance Square
2 North Central Avenue, Suite #1125
Phoenix, Arizona 85004