A recent article in the New York Times showed that between January 2016 and January 2017, more than 64,000 people died as a result of an overdose. (The drug that’s pushing those numbers ever higher is fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.) In Tennessee, there are rough estimates at how many deaths illegal drugs cause each year – about 1400 in 2015, according to the data – but there is no real way to tell.
This uptick in substance abuse has led to another problem: an uptick in the number of illegal drugs being sold on the streets. This past summer, Tennessee law enforcement agencies made a considerable number of drug-related busts:
- In June 2017, The Tennessean reported that law enforcement found two men in possession of two pounds of marijuana packed in 58 bags, more than a pound of mushrooms, molly, ecstasy and ketamine pills. Both men were charged with two counts each of manufacturing, delivering, selling and possession of controlled substances.
- Twenty-six people were arrested after a six-month cocaine trafficking investigation in Northern Memphis, per com. Law enforcement found 9.8 pounds of cocaine, marijuana, hydrocodone and other drugs. They also found weapons, vehicles and $184,000 in cash. Ten additional people were indicted on drug possession with intent to sell, money laundering, and firearms violations.
- In August in Ashland City, the Cheatham County Sheriff issued 35 indictments for drug-related crimes. A story on com, News 4 reported that Deputies had to set up an outdoor processing center to take all of the suspects into custody quickly.
- Knox News found that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation seized more than 600 pounds of marijuana, $50,000 in cash, multiple guns and vehicles in the culmination of a 10-month investigation of a drug trafficking operation.
There is no indication that law enforcement will be backing down from their more aggressive tactics.
Drug classifications in Tennessee
Tennessee models their classifications of controlled substances after those of the federal statues with some differences. The schedules range from the most dangerous drugs with the highest potential for dependency in Schedule I through to Schedule VII, which includes Butyl Nitrate, which has the street name of, “poppers” and is commonly used as a recreational drug. Marijuana is a Schedule VI drug in Tennessee.
Drug trafficking in Tennessee
The charge of drug trafficking and conspiracy has mandatory minimum penalties on conviction on the federal level. For this reason, local federal judges must abide by those minimum sentences. There are also enhancements, which would increase the severity of the sentence including getting caught selling drugs in a school zone or playground and transporting drugs across state lines.
Being charged with drug crimes such as conspiracy, trafficking and possession with intent to distribute are serious offenses with significant penalties. A Maryville criminal defense attorney from Kevin Shepherd and Associates, P.C. is prepared to aggressively defend your rights as we guide you through the criminal justice system. We are here to fight for your future.
Being charged with a crime can be a harrowing experience. You may be afraid for your future, and you certainly do not know what is going to happen next. At Shepherd and Associates, P.C., we stand up for your rights when you have been charged with a crime. We invite you to schedule a consultation with an aggressive Maryville criminal defense attorney by calling 865.225.9655 or filling out our contact form now. We’ll fight for your future together.