Kevin Marrero, a 35-year-old man from Atlanta, has been arrested and indicted for trafficking marijuana after police intercepted a shipping container that he allegedly signed for.
According to reports, the shipping container held over $1 million worth of “high quality” marijuana as well as 1,200 THC oil cartridges. As an Atlanta Criminal Lawyer, I will outline the offense of trafficking marijuana in today's post.
All drug offenses are taken seriously in the state of Georgia, however, some offenses have heavier penalties than others. There are a multitude of marijuana based crimes other than trafficking that one can be charged with. These crimes include:
- Possession of Marijuana in Georgia
- Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in Georgia
- Manufacturing Marijuana in Georgia
- Sale of Marijuana in Georgia
Trafficking Marijuana in Georgia
The Georgia Controlled Substances Act regulates marijuana as well as all other narcotics. All other narcotics are considered scheduled substances - ranging from no medical use and high addictive properties to medical use and low addictive properties. Marijuana is not a scheduled substance, however, by Georgia Law, marijuana is a controlled substance.
Trafficking marijuana in Georgia has serious consequences if convicted. The crime itself is outlined in O.C.G.A. §16-13-31(c) which states that it is illegal when anyone sells, manufactures, grows, delivers, brings into this state, or has possession of a quantity of marijuana exceeding ten pounds.
The penalty if convicted of trafficking marijuana depends on the circumstances of the offense including the amount of marijuana seized.
For trafficking an amount more than 10 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds, the penalty includes at least a five-year prison sentence and shall pay a fine of $100,000.00. For trafficking an amount of marijuana between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds, the penalty includes a minimum sentence of seven years and a fine of $250,000.00. For trafficking any amount of marijuana above 10,000 pounds, the minimum sentence is fifteen years with a fine of $1 million.
There are ways around the minimum sentences listed above. As I mentioned, the penalty does greatly depend on the circumstances surrounding the crime. You may be sentenced to less than the mandatory minimum sentence if it is proven that:
- the suspect was not a leader of the criminal conduct;
- did not possess a firearm, dangerous weapon, or hazardous object during the crime;
- or the conduct did not result in death or serious bodily to a person other than to a person who is a party to the crime;
- there was no prior felony conviction; and
- justice would not be served by the imposition of the prescribed mandatory minimum sentence.
If you or a loved one has been arrested or accused of committing any one of the many drug offenses in Georgia, contact our offices today. We can help you now.