Drug transportation is a trafficking activity that involves the transport of illegal drugs and controlled substances for personal use or public sale. The mode of transportation does not matter: it can be by vehicle, bicycle, foot, and even public transportation. The person doing the transporting does not even have to be the one selling the drugs to be guilty of a felony. Drug transportation is usually accompanied by other charges such as drug selling, manufacturing and distribution.
Drug transportation penalties depend of the type of drug being transported as well as the quantity. If the defendant has a previous criminal record, is a gang member, and / or employed minors to aid in the transportation process, the resulting prison sentence and fines are typically much heavier.
Health and Safety Code 11352 HS prohibits the transportation of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and other drugs listed in HS 11350. A conviction for this offense subjects a defendant to 3, 4, or 5 years in prison. If the drugs were transported across more than two California county lines, the penalty increased to 3, 6, or 9 years. Engaging minors to assist in the transportation can also result in up to 9 years in the state prison.
Health and Safety Code 11360 HS criminalizes the transportation of marijuana, with the penalty being 2-4 years in prison. But if the defendant was just transporting up to 1 oz. of marijuana, it is punished as a misdemeanor, with a fine of $100 plus court costs.
Like California state law, federal penalties for drug transportation vary by the substance type, amount being transported, and the defendant’s prior record. Transporting heroin, cocaine, LSD, and similar drugs is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in a federal prison plus fines. If bodily injury or death results from using the drugs, the punishment can increase to life in prison plus a fine of up to $20 million. Marijuana and hashish / hashish oil transportation can result in 5 years to life in prison, plus fines.
Allowing others to manufacture drugs in one’s home or other structure, being under the influence of a controlled substance, possessing drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale, selling a controlled substance
California has some of the toughest drug laws in the country, and a conviction for drug transportation means prison time, times, and additional consequences that accompany a felony conviction, such as loss of certain civil privileges and rights and employment-related obstacles. The services of a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney with a background in defending drug-related charges need to be engaged the moment a person is arrested.
Defenses to drug transportation charges include entrapment, mistaken identity, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and illegal search and seizure.
In July 2014 two men and one woman were arrested in Walnut Creek after several months of police investigation into drug transportation and trafficking in the city’s downtown area. Walnut Creek police issued a statement that there had been complaints about trafficking activities in the bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, with special emphasis on the Lift Lounge and Grill.
The arrested parties are Brittany Borgognone, 25, Hector Rodriguez, 44, and Benyam Yoannes, 25. Yohannes was charged with possession and transportation of cocaine for sale. Borgognone and Rodriguez were released, but charges are expected to be filed against them in the immediate future.