A man was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for drug charges relating to allegedly transporting more than five pounds of marijuana across state lines into Virginia from Tennessee with intent to distribute. All but four and a half years of the sentence were suspended, keeping the sentence in line with federal guidelines.
The drug charges stem from when man was under investigation by the Kingsport Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service after receiving the 50-pound package of marijuana in the mail in 2012. He was allegedly fleeing from those agencies when he crossed the state line into Virginia. The Scott County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police pulled the man over and reportedly found the package in the back seat of his Cadillac.
Prosecutors identified the man, who is from Kingsport, Tennessee, as part of a larger distribution network. They indicated that his arrest was part of a larger operation and that they hoped to track the shipment back to his supplier. They had asked the judge to exceed the sentencing guidelines because the package's weight was so much greater than five pounds.
Possession of a drug in large quantities can suggest an intent to distribute, which may lead to more serious charges and a tougher sentence. Shipping drugs through the mail or transporting across state lines can open an individual up to federal charges and federal sentencing guidelines.
An attorney with experience in drug possession charges and drug distribution charges can help an accused individual navigate the complexities of the legal system. The attorney can work to make sure the charges are consistent with the alleged crime and that prosecutors are working within the appropriate sentencing guidelines. The attorney may also be able to negotiate a plea deal or a reduced sentence, especially if the accused person doesn't have an extensive criminal record.
Source: Kingsport Times-News, "Kingsport man sentenced on drug charges in Scott County," Wes Bunch, April 8, 2013