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Drug Trafficking in New York: Getting Busted Can Land You in Prison for Life

The headline reads, “Pearl River grandparents accused of selling thousands of painkillers”. This past May, Linda Rose Famelico and Aniello Famelico were arrested on felony drug charges after investigators found nearly 2,000 prescription pills, $18,000 in cash and a large quantity of marijuana. This is not Famelico’s first drug charge and in 2013, she was also arrested and indicted on felony drug charges.

Also in May of this year, 72 people were arrested in a drug trafficking bust in Syracuse. The investigation took nearly a year and was titled operation “Smackdown”. Officers seized over 10,000 individual doses of heroin, tens of thousands of dollars, and weapons.

New York is prime location for drug trafficking on larger scales. Due to an immense population size, close proximity to state borders, interstate highway systems, and shipping channels, it is easier to move large amounts of drugs here than it may be in landlocked states with less traffic. People turn to drug trafficking for a variety of reasons. Although the stakes are high, many good people will break the law to make extra money to pay bills. Regardless of the reason, if you are charged with drug trafficking, you must seek help from an experienced New York drug defense attorney.

New York State Drug Trafficking Laws are Strict

Article 220 of the New York Penal Code dictates the law on felony drug offenses. It states that a person can be considered as operating as a major drug trafficker where:

  • A person acts as director of a controlled substance organization for 12 months or less, during which time the aggregate value of proceeds collected from the sale of the controlled substances total $75,000; or
  • A profiteer unlawfully sells a narcotic drug on one or more occasions within 6 months and proceeds from the sales total $75,000; or
  • A profiteer unlawfully possesses a narcotic drug on one or more occasions within 6 months and the value of the narcotic drug totals $75,000.

Violation of the state law is considered a class A-1 felony, punishable by life imprisonment. Federal drug trafficking penalties are also severe and, depending on the drug trafficked, carry various sentencing guidelines ranging from 5 years imprisonment to life in prison.

In the state of New York, the prosecutor will have to present your case to a grand jury before he can move forward with felony charges.

Can My Attorney Argue My Case in Front of a Grand Jury?

If you are being investigated for a felony drug trafficking offense under state or federal law, a grand jury will decide whether or not to you indict you. If you are indicted, it means that the grand jury found enough cause to allow the prosecution to proceed with criminal charges. There are no judges involved in grand jury decisions and your attorney cannot accompany you into the grand jury room. Only the prosecuting attorney is present and will present evidence and testimony in favor of moving forward with prosecution.

Reach Out to Our Office Today for Help

If you are being investigated by the state or the federal government for alleged drug trafficking, you must seek legal defense.  Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law is one of New York’s preeminent criminal defense attorney’s. With years of experience in the serious crime of drug trafficking, Mr. Murphy will aggressively represent you and help you assert the best defense possible. Call today for a free consultation, phone calls are answered 24/7.

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