Los Angeles is the 3rd busiest airport in the world. It is estimated to accommodate 64 million passengers a year. This is a major international hub which means that the opportunity to traffic drugs is pretty reasonable. But how does one start the process of international drug trafficking? But not every international drug trafficking charge comes from large airports. You can be caught in your car, private airplanes, trains, and trucks. These charges often come after years of private investigation with undercover operatives.
For example, a former LA Sheriff pleads guilty with conspiracy to distribute drugs internally from LA to Vegas. In this situation, the former sheriff was going to be paid $250k. He has pleaded guilty and faces up to 10 years in prison. He told an undercover operative that he was law enforcement and was able to hide things. This is what lead to his arrest.
After a three year investigation, 22 suspects were arrested for hiding drugs from Northern Mexico in soup cans which were hidden in cars and small private aircraft. Once seized, authorities found over 93 pounds of heroin and almost 53 pounds of marijuana. This extraordinary amount of drug recovery can lead to a lifetime in prison. There are federal and state charges at play here.
Drug Trafficking, international or domestic, is illegal and can result in severe punishment. The punishment usually depends on the kind of substance or “schedule” of the substance. Schedule I drugs are heroin, hallucinogens, marijuana, and ecstasy. These drugs tier higher than schedule II because they have no medicinal purposes and are highly potent. Schedule II drugs are like methamphetamine, cocaine, morphine, Adderall, fentanyl, etc. These drugs are highly potent, but they can serve in some medical situations. There are also schedule III and IV. Schedule IV drugs are Xanax, Valium, Librium, Lunesta, Klonopin, etc. These drugs are more likely medicinal and the DEA considers them low potency. These substances are subject to change schedules depending on legislation.
The punishment also depends on the amount of the substance you have as well as the choice of substance. Other influences are your criminal history, country of origin, and any other “aggravating” factors such as the use of weapons or assault. These kinds of factors can influence the kind of drug trafficking charges you receive.
Our International drug trafficking attorney at Okabe & Haushalter understands the complexities of these laws. We are willing to work on a federal and state level. We understand that your life is on the line. If you are not from the United States and have been charged with international drug trafficking then you may be facing extradition. We can help you with these circumstances by hiring a team to serve as your local council to prevent the extradition or represent you here if you are already extradited.