A volume drug dealer is someone who is commercially distributing large amounts of prohibited drugs, usually in association with a continuing criminal enterprise. The legal definition of a ‘continuing criminal enterprise’ is five or more individuals committing multiple felony offenses in concert and in connection with a certain amount of annual net profits or at the direction of a criminal street gang.
These charges entail the most severe mandatory minimum sentences and potential maximum sentences in the entire Virginia criminal drug code. With so much at stake, it is imperative that individuals seek the services of a Prince William County volume dealer lawyer. A capable drug attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome for an individual.
As a Prince William County volume dealer lawyer might explain, volume dealer charges are not common in Prince William County. They tend to arise when there are uniquely conducive conditions for the operation of a sizable criminal drug enterprise, such as a combination of ports of entry, interstate highways, and nearby borders with other states.
Generally, the more dangerous a drug is, the lower the quantity threshold is to elevate the charge from a PWID to a volume dealing offense. Federal thresholds or volume dealing charges are different than Virginia thresholds, but they are typically met whenever Virginia thresholds are met.
Volume dealing charges are typically investigated by multiple cooperating local, state, and federal law enforcement entities that are able and willing to spend large amounts of time, money, and resources for the investigation. These entities also employ multiple surreptitious investigative techniques, technology, and undercover personnel to incrementally identify and charge the perceived leaders of the volume dealing enterprise.
The penalties associated with volume dealing charges, depend on the particularities of the case. A person could receive anything from five years to life in prison with a maximum potential fine of $1,000,000 for a volume-dealing offense. The various mandatory minimum sentences range from five years, 20 years, and 40 years. Even mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole is usually not able to be suspended in any amount by the sentencing judge.
Virginia statutes enumerate the precise amounts of different prohibited substances that trigger a volume dealing charge. The more dangerous a drug is, the lower the quantity threshold is to elevate the charge from a possession with intent to distribute or an actual distribution defense to a volume dealing offense.
For marijuana, this amount is 100 kilograms or more, whereas for heroin it is only 1 kilograms or more. Methamphetamine has an even lower threshold than heroin, which is 200 grams, but all other major substances like, cocaine and crack, fall somewhere in between the marijuana and heroin volume thresholds.
The legal definition of a continuing criminal enterprise is five or more individuals committing multiple felony offenses in concert and in connection with a certain amount of annual net profits, or at the direction of a criminal street gang. In a drug context, a continuing criminal enterprise requires the commission of multiple felony offenses relating to drugs and requires a rather substantial amount of annual net profits.
The penalties associated with a continuing criminal enterprise charge in Prince William County, Virginia are dependent upon the nature of the enterprise. Mandatory minimum starts at five years and escalates up to mandatory life in prison. Life in prison is also a potential maximum penalty for many continuing criminal enterprise charges as well as a maximum fine of $1,000,000. A Prince William County volume dealer lawyer could mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.
What separates continuing criminal enterprise charges from drug conspiracy charges is that they are much smaller in scale both in terms of the amount of drugs and persons involved. Volume dealer charges are always centered on a large drug distribution scheme that is already in operation, whereas drug conspiracy charges do not necessarily involve the actual execution of a planned drug distribution scheme.
It is important to have an experienced Prince William County volume dealer lawyer in these cases because volume dealing charges could ruin the rest of someone’s life, whether or not that person is sentenced to decades in prison. The sheer magnitude of the complexity and consequences involved in a volume dealing charge make it impossible to ignore the importance of a legal advocate. A qualified attorney could leverage their experience defending volume dealing cases, in order to build a solid defense for an individual. If someone has been charged with a volume dealing offense, they should speak with a skilled lawyer that could fight for them.
Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.