Posted On: February 21, 2012

88 Pounds of Cocaine Found in Empty House in Lake Forest

Narcotics Investigators with the Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force found 88 pounds of cocaine after receiving information that narcotics were being distributed out of a house in Lake Forest, California. The investigators believe that the house was being used solely for the purpose of hiding and distributing narcotics throughout the Country. The estimated street value of the narcotics is $4 million. Two men have been arrested on suspicion of possession and distribution of narcotics. One is a Lake Forest resident, and the other from Aliso Viejo, California.

As an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, specializing in drug related offenses, taking a close look at the officers' conduct prior to the arrest of these two men is extremely important, as well as how the search warrant was obtained. These are very serious charges and therefore, any mistakes or illegal investigation conducted by the Narcotics Investigators must be considered.

Transporting drugs is the moving of drugs from one place to another. In order to be convicted of transportation of a controlled substance, it is only necessary for the prosecution to establish that the accused moved the drugs.

To be convicted of selling or transporting a controlled substance, it must be established that the accused engaged in one of the following acts:

1. Transporting a controlled substance;
2. Importing drugs, into California (meaning, bringing illegal drugs into this state).
3. Selling, exchanging narcotics for money, favors, services, goods or any other non-cash benefit.
4. Furnishing drugs or supplying by any means.
5. Administering the drugs directly to another person.
6. Giving illegal drugs away.
It must also be established that the accused knew of the presence of drugs and that the drug was illegal. There must be enough of the drug to be used as a controlled substance.

The penalty for a conviction of selling and transporting a controlled substance is either probation and up to one year in county jail, or three, four or five years in prison and a maximum $20,000.00 fine. However, if convicted of transporting a controlled substance for sale, and the drugs were moved across more than two county lines, the penalty is three, six or nine years in prison. There are aggravating factors that if relevant to your case, could result in the highest possible sentence or add time to the overall prison sentence. Prior convictions of felony drug charges may also add time to the overall sentence.

Fortunately, there are defenses to these charges that a skilled criminal defense attorney will be familiar with. An attorney experienced in drug sales and transportation charges will look closely at the possibility of an illegal search and seizure as well as police misconduct. Some other defenses include: entrapment, mistaken identity/innocence, lack of knowledge and lack of intent.

Anyone being charged with drug possession for sale, in Orange County, California, needs the representation of a skilled Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, who will look closely at the prosecution’s case as it relates to the accused. In other words, a good criminal defense attorney will take the time to get to know their client and their client’s background, history, family, standing in the community, everything about that client in order to represent the person, not just the defendant., to the prosecution/judge.

There are alternatives to jail and prison for those being charged and convicted of drug related charges. Drug diversion, such as Proposition 36, Penal Code 1000 PC Drug Diversion and California Drug Court are examples of these alternatives. If convicted of a drug related offense, drug diversion is the outcome to pursue, as it is so much more beneficial than being incarcerated. The drug diversion programs can help overcome many drug related problems that have contributed to the initial acts that have lead to the conviction.

If you would like to know more about possession of a controlled substance and/or distribution or transportation of narcotics, contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William Weinberg at his Irvine, California office at 949-474-8008 or at www.williamweinberg.com.