Cherokee County officers searched a house off of Gold Mill Ridge after obtaining a felony arrest warrant for Carlos Suarez-Diaz. He was allegedly found in what police are describing as a “large marijuana grow house.” According to reports, he slipped out of the handcuffs while being detained and attempted to run away but was ultimately apprehended by authorities.
Police reported that there were 287 marijuana plants found in the home which in total are street valued at $1.2 million. The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad assisted with the collection and removal of all evidence including the marijuana plants.
Suarez-Diaz is currently facing charges of trafficking marijuana and obstruction of a police officer in Georgia.
In today's post, as a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will highlight the law behind the criminal offense of trafficking marijuana.
Trafficking Marijuana in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines trafficking marijuana in Georgia as:
When someone sells, manufactures, grows, delivers, brings into this state, or has possession of a quantity of marijuana exceeding ten pounds. O.C.G.A. § 16-13-31(c).
To be convicted of trafficking marijuana in Georgia, the prosecution will have to prove the accused person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The penalty for a trafficking marijuana conviction varies. I'll explain the delineations below.
Penalty for Trafficking Marijuana Conviction in Georgia
- Trafficking marijuana in an amount of ten pounds to two thousand pounds - 5 year prison sentence and $100,000 fine.
- Trafficking marijuana in an amount of two thousand pounds to ten thousand pounds - 7 year prison sentence and $250,000 fine.
- Trafficking marijuana in any amount greater than ten thousand pounds - 15 year prison sentence and $1 million fine.
Now these are all mandatory minimum sentences. There are some ways that the accused person can receive less than the mandatory minimum. Ultimately, the decision is up to the judge. The judge could make the decision to sentence less than the mandatory minimum if the convicted person assists in the identification, arrest, or conviction of other people involved in the drug operation.
Other ways that a judge could depart from the mandatory minimum is if it is proven that the convicted person was not the leader of the criminal conduct, did not possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the crime, does not have a prior felony conviction, or the conduct did not result in death or serious bodily harm to anyone.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I understand that just because people are accused of a crime does not make them guilty of that criminal offense. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in Georgia, contact our offices today. Our lawyers are here for you. We will help you understand all of your options, what penalties you are facing, and the specifics of your case. We will utilize the best and most applicable Georgia Criminal Defenses to your case and fight for your freedom. Every case is unique - this includes Drug Offenses in Georgia. Possession and trafficking charges are not light matters in our state.
Do not sit around waiting for you case to resolve itself - contact us today.