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Drug Trafficking and Distribution

Drug trafficking and distribution are serious crimes in the state of Illinois. In most cases, the possession of a drug with the intent to distribute is punished more severely than simple possession of the same amount of the same drug. And, the possible sentence for drug trafficking can be double that imposed for distribution.

If you’ve been charged with drug trafficking in Illinois, you can’t afford to take chances. Get advice from a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who has experience with felony drug cases right away, before you make any decisions or allow too much time to pass.

You can schedule a free consultation by calling 630-479-7100 or completing the contact form on this site.

Drug Trafficking in Illinois

Trafficking of Controlled Substances

Although drug trafficking is commonly used to describe the sale of controlled substances, the legal definition of drug trafficking is much more specific. A person is guilty of drug trafficking if he or she knowingly brings a controlled substances or causes a controlled substance to be brought into the state with the intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. The intended manufacture or delivery need not take place within the state of Illinois.

Drug trafficking is the most serious drug crime in Illinois, with a potential sentence of up to twice the maximum sentence for possession with intent to manufacture or deliver the same type and quantity of drug.

It is also a Class 2 felony to use a cell phone (or, in the language of the statute, “a cellular radio telecommunication device”) in the furtherance of drug trafficking.

Trafficking of Marijuana

The cannabis trafficking statute makes it a crime to knowingly bring or cause to be brought into the state with the intent to manufacture or deliver 2,500 grams or more of cannabis. Like trafficking of controlled substances, trafficking of cannabis carries a potential sentence of up to twice the maximum sentence for manufacture or delivery of a like amount.

Sentences for Drug Possession, Manufacture / Delivery and Trafficking

The chart below shows the sentencing range for possession, distribution and trafficking of heroin in Illinois. The sentencing ranges differ depending upon the drug and the quantity, but this comparison illustrates the relationship among sentences for different drug crimes.

Quantity of Heroin Sentencing Range
Possession Manufacture / Delivery Trafficking
15 to less than 100 g 4-15 years 6-30 years 12-60 years
100 to less than 400 g 6-30 years 9-40 years 18-80 years
400 to less than 900 g 8-40 years 12-50 years 24-100 years
900 grams or more 12-50 years 15-60 years 30-120 years

Manufacture, Delivery and Possession with Intent to Deliver

Like drug possession and drug trafficking, the manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver of controlled substances is punished based on the drug in question and the amount involved. With regard to Schedule I and II drugs, manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver in any significant quantity is a Class X felony.

You may be charged with a Class X felony if you are accused of manufacturing, delivering or possessing with intent to deliver 15 grams or more of the following substances (or their analogs):

  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Cocaine
  • Morphine
  • LSD

For most other Schedule I and II controlled substances, 200 grams or more triggers a Class X felony classification. Although the charge for all quantities above this cut-off is a Class X felony, sentencing ranges vary depending upon the quantity, just as they do in drug possession cases. The sentencing ranges run from six to 30 years at the low end (for example, for possession of less than 15 grams of heroin or cocaine) to 15 o 60 years at the high end.

In addition, possible fines run to $500,000, or the full street value of the controlled substances in question.

Manufacture, Delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver Small Amounts of a Controlled Substance

Manufacturing, delivering or possessing with intent to deliver small quantities of most controlled substances will be charged as a Class 1 or Class 2 felony. The classification will be determined by the type and amount of the drug.

Some common examples of Class 1 felony classifications include:

  • At least one gram, but less than 15 grams of cocaine
  • At least 10 grams, but less than 15 grams of morphine
  • At least 50 grams, but less than 200 grams of amphetamine

Manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver the same drugs would be charged as a Class 2 felony if the amounts were:

  • Less than one gram of cocaine
  • Less than 10 grams of morphine
  • Less than 50 grams of amphetamine

Note that even in these very small quantities, these crimes are classified as serious felonies and carry serious penalties.

Consult an Experienced Drug Crimes Lawyer

If you’re facing charges related to the manufacture or sale of a controlled substance, you can’t afford to wait and see how your case plays out. You also can’t afford to rely on an attorney who has limited experience in handling felony drug cases.

As a former drug prosecutor who currently defends people facing criminal charges, I have extensive experience with both drug cases and felony trials. When you need an advocate who knows the law, the process, and where to look for weaknesses in the state’s case, I can help. Just call 630-479-7100 right now, or fill out the contact form on this site.

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