According to legend, both mariachi music and tequila originated in the Mexican state of Jalisco. According to the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the recent arrests of more than 600 people nationwide on drug trafficking charges has disrupted Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (“CJNG”), which also originates in the western Mexico state.
The six-month investigation, dubbed Project Python, included 50 or so arrests in the DEA’s Chicago division, a WMAQ report stated. There were also many arrests in other parts of the Midwest.
A DEA spokesperson has said CJNG is responsible for about 90 percent of the illegal drugs in Chicago, including cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl-laced heroin. The agency claims that CJNG smuggles and distributes about one-third of all illegal narcotics in the U.S.
The potential penalties for convictions on federal drug trafficking charges are among the harshest in the criminal justice system and often involve harsh mandatory minimums. For instance, if you are convicted of trafficking/distributing even 5 kilograms of cocaine, you face a possible sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
Or If you are convicted on charges of distributing/trafficking 100 grams of heroin or 500 grams of cocaine, you face between 5 and 40 years in a federal prison.
The same 5 to 40-year sentence range applies to those who are convicted of trafficking 10 to 99 grams of fentanyl. When the amount of fentanyl is 100 grams or more, the sentence range jumps to a minimum of 10 years to life behind bars.
And the amount of drugs attributed to a defendant isn’t only what they touch so to speak. Many defendants are held responsible for a significantly greater quantity of drugs based on their involvement in a drug conspiracy. In other words, drug sentencing is complicated, and can vary widely depending on not only the amounts and the composition of the substances involved, but also factors such as a defendant’s role in the offense.
Just because someone gets caught with drugs, doesn’t mean they can’t win their case. Many times there are challenges to the way law enforcement seizes the evidence and Darryl Goldberg has years of experience suppressing evidence (keeping it out of court) such as hundreds of kilos of cocaine and marijuana. Mr. Goldberg also has vast experience getting sentences well below what is called for on the federal sentencing guidelines; sometimes years or even decades. In fact, Mr. Goldberg has represented defendants, not just in Chicago, but nationwide, in some of the largest drug prosecutions brought in federal and state courts. One case was even made into a fictionalized Hollywood movie.
If you are under investigation or have been charged with drug trafficking in federal or Illinois courts, contact criminal defense attorney Darryl Goldberg at 773-683-2560 and schedule a consultation.