The term conspiracy often relates to some agreement between two or more parties to commit a criminal offense, and drugs can often be the subject of conspiracy agreements. If you are accused of taking part in any kind of conspiracy relating to a controlled substance in Texas, you will want to be quick to seek the help of a Fort Worth drug conspiracy attorney.
In November 2021, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that the sixth and final alleged offender in a marijuana and cocaine conspiracy case was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy. A 46-year-old man allegedly led a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) from October 2008 through April 2019, and was paid about $25.6 million for his role in the DTO.
Drug Conspiracy Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX
Were you recently arrested for a drug conspiracy offense? Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (817) 422-5350 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Southlake, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and surrounding areas of Tarrant County, TX area.
Our firm understands how drug conspiracy charges are utilized by prosecutors and will be able to best defend you from saying anything that could lead to even more severe penalties. Contact us online for a free consultation so we can fully examine your case and outline your defense options.
Texas Drug Conspiracy Charges
Texas Penal Code § 15.02 establishes that an individual commits a criminal conspiracy offense when they, with the intent to commit a felony, agree with one or more persons that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct that constitutes an alleged offense, and they or one or more of them performs an overt act in pursuance of their agreement.
An agreement that constitutes a conspiracy could be inferred from acts of the parties. It is not a defense to criminal conspiracy charges that one or more of the co-conspirators involved was not criminally responsible for the object alleged offense, one or more of the co-conspirators has been acquitted, so long as two or more co-conspirators were not acquitted, one or more of the co-conspirators has not been prosecuted or convicted, has been convicted of a different offense, or is/are immune from prosecution, the alleged offender belongs to a class of people who by definition of the object offense is/are legally incapable of committing an object offense in an individual capacity, or the object offense was actually committed.
A criminal conspiracy offense is graded one category lower than the most serious felony that is the object of the conspiracy. This means that a conspiracy to commit a first-degree felony drug crime will be a second-degree felony, a conspiracy to commit a second-degree felony drug crime becomes a third-degree felony, a conspiracy to commit a third-degree felony drug crime is a state jail felony, and a conspiracy to commit a state jail felony drug crime is a Class A misdemeanor.
Federal Drug Conspiracy Charges
Several federal laws relate to drug conspiracy charges. Title 21 U.S. Code § 841 and Title 21 U.S. Code § 842 both relate to prohibited drug acts, and Title 21 U.S. Code § 952 relates to the importation of controlled substances.
Under Title 21 U.S. Code § 846, an attempt and conspiracy offense is defined as a person attempting or conspiring to commit any crime defined above. An alleged offender can be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the alleged offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.
Drug Conspiracy Penalties
With Texas state conspiracy charges, a conviction may result in one of the following sentences:
- Class A misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $4,000
- State Jail Felony — Up to two years in state jail and/or fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
The type of drug involved for federal offenses can significantly impact the possible penalties. Again, the four kinds of federal drug crimes usually involve either manufacturing a controlled substance, distributing a controlled substance, possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it, or importing a controlled substance.
In marijuana cases, no alleged quantity can result in up to 20 years in prison, 100 kilograms or more of marijuana can involve up to 40 years in prison, and 1,000 or more kilograms of marijuana can lead to a life sentence in prison. With cocaine or “crack” cocaine, no alleged quantity of cocaine or crack can result in up to 20 years in prison, 500 grams or more of cocaine or 28 grams or more of crack cocaine can lead to up to 40 years in prison, and 5 or more kilograms of cocaine or 280 grams or more of crack cocaine could lead to life in prison.
With methamphetamine, no alleged quantity of methamphetamine can mean up to 20 years in prison, 5 grams or more of methamphetamine may mean up to 40 years in prison, and 50 or more grams of methamphetamine could lead to life in prison. Heroin without a quantity specified can mean up to 20 years in prison, 100 grams or more of heroin can mean up to 40 years in prison, and 1 or more kilograms of heroin could result in life in prison.
Federal agencies are also placing a greater emphasis now on drug conspiracies involving opioids, especially those involving fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. A controlled substance “analogue” refers to a chemical compound that is substantially similar to a controlled substance, both in its chemical structure and in its effects it produces when consumed.
Certain cases could also involve sentencing enhancements. The government may seek enhancements when a person dies or is seriously injured because of the use of a controlled substance involved in a drug conspiracy or if the alleged offender has one or more prior felony convictions for drug offenses.
Denton Drug Conspiracy Resources
Federal Conspiracy Law — View a Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) page with an MP3 file that allows you to listen to a discussion between John Seaman, an attorney assigned to the FLETC who worked with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) as an Assistant Chief Counsel for 10 years and Michelle Story, an instructor with the FLETC who previously worked with the City of Atlanta as a prosecutor for six years. This podcast focuses on the general conspiracy statute in Title 18 United States Code § 371, which exists when two or more people join together and form an agreement to violate the law, and then act on that agreement. The five elements for the crime of conspiracy are identified as a person having two or more persons who intentionally make an agreement to violate federal law or defraud the United States, and then commit some overt act in furtherance of the agreement.
What We Do | United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA.gov) — Visit this website to learn more about DEA’s and its mission. The DEA’s responsibilities include regulating the manufacture and distribution of controlled pharmaceuticals (such as scheduled prescription drugs) and listed chemicals through DEA’s Diversion Control Division, providing and coordinating for DEA and other enforcement organizations the collection, analysis and dissemination of world-class drug-related intelligence through DEA’s Intelligence Division, analyzing evidence and providing science-based research that supports drug-related investigations and the United States criminal justice system at-large through DEA’s Office of Forensic Sciences, and providing support for drug demand reduction and prevention programs through educational and other campaigns and initiatives including the Red Ribbon Campaign, National Takeback Day, Operation Engage and One Pill Can Kill. Find additional information about law enforcement, education and prevention, news, drug information, and campaigns.
Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Drug Conspiracy Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you were recently arrested for a drug conspiracy crime anywhere in Tarrant County, it will be essential that you retain legal counsel without any further delay. Prosecutors take these types of crimes very seriously and have their minds set on obtaining convictions, so you will not want to enter a courtroom without a criminal defense lawyer by your side. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy knows the best ways to defend people against alleged conspiracy crimes and we will be able to work tirelessly to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or completely dismissed.
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (817) 422-5350 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Southlake, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and surrounding areas of Tarrant County, TX area.