Drug Trafficking

Several people often assume that alleged offenders are only charged with the crime of drug trafficking when they are caught selling or physically transporting controlled substances in Florida. The truth is that drug trafficking charges are based on the amount of an illegal drug that an alleged offender possesses, not necessarily the alleged activity he or she was involved in.

Drug trafficking offenses are among the most serious types of controlled substance crimes individuals can be charged with, as convictions for such crimes can often carry harsh mandatory minimum sentences. As a felony offense, a conviction for drug trafficking not only carries the potential for a lengthy prison sentence and steep fines, but also an incredibly damaging criminal record that can lead to long-term hardship in matters concerning employment, housing, or government benefits.

Attorney for Drug Trafficking Arrests in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Do you believe that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested in Broward County for an alleged drug trafficking crime? Do not say anything to authorities until you have contacted Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell represent clients accused of drug offenses in Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Davie, and many surrounding areas of South Florida. Call (954) 716-8538 to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.


Broward County Drug Trafficking Information Center


Back to top

Florida Drug Trafficking Charges

Under Florida Statute § 893.135, trafficking offenses are defined as a person knowingly selling, purchasing, manufacturing, delivering, or bringing into Florida, or knowingly being in actual or constructive possession of a certain amount of a controlled substance. Trafficking crimes under state law in Florida are graded according to both the type and amount of the illegal drug involved in an alleged offense:

Controlled Substance

Amount

Fine

Prison Sentence

Amphetamine, methamphetamine, any mixture containing amphetamine or methamphetamine, or phenylacetone, phenylacetic acid, pseudoephedrine, or ephedrine in conjunction with other chemicals and equipment utilized in the manufacture of amphetamine or methamphetamine

14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams

$100,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

200 grams or more

$250,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

Cannabis

More than 25 pounds, but less than 2,000 pounds
—or—
300 or more cannabis plants, but not more than 2,000 cannabis plants

$25,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

2,000 pounds or more, but less than 10,000 pounds
—or—
2,000 or more cannabis plants, but not more than 10,000 cannabis plants

$50,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

10,000 pounds or more
—or—
10,000 or more cannabis plants

$200,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

Cocaine

28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams

$100,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

400 grams or more, but less than 150 kilograms

$250,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

150 kilograms or more

Life in prison with ineligibility for any form of discretionary early release

Flunitrazepam or any mixture containing flunitrazepam

4 grams or more but less than 14 grams

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

14 grams or more but less than 28 grams

$100,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

28 grams or more but less than 30 kilograms

$500,000

Minimum of 25 years up to 30 years in prison

30 kilograms or more

Life in prison with ineligibility for any form of discretionary early release

Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)

1 kilogram or more but less than 5 kilograms

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

5 kilograms or more but less than 10 kilograms

$100,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

10 kilograms or more

$250,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

Hydrocodone, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof

14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

28 grams or more, but less than 50 grams

$100,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

50 grams or more, but less than 200 grams

$500,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

200 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms

$750,000

Minimum of 25 years up to 30 years in prison

30 kilograms or more

Life in prison with ineligibility for any form of discretionary early release

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)

1 gram or more, but less than 5 grams

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

5 grams or more, but less than 7 grams

$100,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

7 grams or more

$500,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

Methaqualone (Quaalude) or any mixture containing methaqualone

200 grams or more, but less than 5 kilograms

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

5 kilograms or more, but less than 25 kilograms

$100,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

25 kilograms or more

$250,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

Morphine, opium, hydromorphone, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin

4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams

$100,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms

$500,000

Minimum of 25 years up to 30 years in prison

30 kilograms or more

Life in prison with ineligibility for any form of discretionary early release

Oxycodone, or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof

7 grams or more, but less than 14 grams

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

14 grams or more, but less than 25 grams

$100,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

25 grams or more, but less than 100 grams

$500,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison

100 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms

$750,000

Minimum of 25 years up to 30 years in prison

30 kilograms or more

Life in prison with ineligibility for any form of discretionary early release

Phencyclidine (PCP) or any mixture containing PCP

28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams

$50,000

Minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison

200 grams or more, but less than 400 grams

$100,000

Minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison

400 grams or more

$250,000

Minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison


Back to top

Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties in Broward County

When an alleged drug trafficking offense involves any kind of interstate activity, the alleged offender could face federal charges. Federal drug trafficking cases are even more serious than those brought by state prosecutors because federal prosecutors often have far greater resources at their disposal to seek convictions and the possible penalties involved can be even more severe.

People could face any one of the following sentences for federal drug trafficking offenses:

Controlled Substance

Amount

Prison Sentence

Fine

Cocaine

500-4,999 grams

First Offense: Mandatory minimum five-year sentence up to 40 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20-year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 10-year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

28-279 grams

Fentanyl

40-399 grams

Fentanyl analogue

10-99 grams

Heroin

100-999 grams

LSD

1-9 grams

Pure methamphetamine

5-49 grams

Methamphetamine mixture

50-499 grams

Pure PCP

10-99 grams

PCP mixture

100-999 grams

Cocaine

5 kilograms or more

First Offense: Mandatory minimum 10-year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20-year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 20-year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

Third or Subsequent Offense: Life in prison.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Third or Subsequent Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Cocaine base

280 grams or more

Fentanyl

400 grams or more

Fentanyl analogue

100 grams or more

Heroin

1 kilogram or more

LSD

10 grams or more

Pure methamphetamine

50 grams or more

Methamphetamine mixture

500 grams or more

Pure PCP

100 grams or more

PCP mixture

1 kilogram or more

Other Schedule I and Schedule II Substances

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals.

Any drug product containing gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)

Any amount

Flunitrazepam

1 gram or more

Marijuana

Less than 50 kilograms marijuana (Not including 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of  weight), or 1 to 49 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

Hashish

10 kilograms or less

Hashish Oil

1 kilogram or less

Marijuana

50 to 99 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 50 to 99 marijuana plants

First Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 30 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.

First Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $2 million for individuals, $10 million for non-individuals.

Hashish

More than 10 kilograms

Hashish Oil

More than 1 kilogram

Marijuana

100 to 999 kilograms marijuana mixture, or 100 to 999 marijuana  plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum five year sentence up to 40 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $5 million for individuals, $25 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $8 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Marijuana

1,000 kilograms or more marijuana mixture, or 1,000 or more marijuana plants

First Offense: Mandatory minimum 10 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison.

Second Offense: Mandatory minimum 20 year sentence up to life in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, life sentence.

First Offense: Up to $10 million for individuals, $50 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $20 million for individuals, $75 million for non-individuals.

Other Schedule III Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to 10 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, up to 15 years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 20 years in prison. If case involves death or serious bodily injury, up to 30 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2.5 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $1 million for individuals, $5 million for non-individuals.

All other Schedule IV Drugs (other than one gram or more of Flunitrazepam)

Any amount

First Offense: Up to five years in prison.

Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $250,000 for individuals, $1 million for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $500,000 for individuals, $2 million for non-individuals.

All Schedule V Drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Up to one year in prison.

Second Offense: Up to four years in prison.

First Offense: Up to $100,000 for individuals, $250,000 for non-individuals.

Second Offense: Up to $200,000 for individuals, $500,000 for non-individuals.


Back to top

Florida Drug Trafficking Resources

Metro Broward Drug Task Force (MBDTF) | Broward Sheriff's Office — The South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) is a program established in 1990 that “fosters cooperation among law enforcement agencies in this region and involves them in developing a strategy to target the region’s drug-related threats to public safety.” The MBDTF is a multi-jurisdictional initiative that the South Florida HIDTA initiated funding for on October 1, 2010. It is a multi-jurisdictional initiative composed of 13 local, county, state and federal agencies that you can learn more about on this website.

Broward Sheriff's Office
2601 W. Broward Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
(954) 765-4321

Criminal Interdiction Unit (CIU) | Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles — The Florida Highway Patrol’s CIU “assists other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the detection and apprehension of drug traffickers and other criminal offenders that utilize the roadways of Florida.” The unit is equipped with sophisticated drug detection equipment that you can learn more about on this website. You can also learn more about the amounts and values of drugs the CIU has seized.


Back to top

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. | Fort Lauderdale Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer

If you were arrested or think you could be under investigation for an alleged drug trafficking offense anywhere in South Florida, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. defends individuals charged with drug crimes in communities all over the greater Broward County area, including Wilton Manors, Sunrise, Deerfield Beach, Weston, Tamarac, Margate, Coconut Creek, Hallandale Beach, and many others.

Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale who will make every effort possible to help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case, including possibly having the criminal charges reduced or dismissed. They can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (954) 716-8538 or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free initial consultation.


Back to top

Client Testimonials
Read More Client Testimonials