An attempt to smuggle illegal drugs into a Los Angeles correctional facility has been thwarted by a K9 officer. According to the reports, police learned about a drug smuggling operation and secured a search warrant for the suspect’s home. A narcotics-sniffing police dog discovered methamphetamine and heroin valued at more than $40,000. The drugs were uniquely packaged in a way that is believed to facilitate distribution behind bars. The suspected smuggler was arrested and is facing criminal charges.
Bringing Drugs Into a Los Angeles Jail
Inmates in California jails and prisons are prohibited from using drugs. However, despite the ban, drug use is wildly popular behind bars. Most drugs are smuggled in by friends and family members. These friends and family members may think twice if they realized that they were committing a serious crime.
It’s illegal to bring drugs into a correctional facility in California. Under California Penal Code 4573 PC, it’s a crime for any person to knowingly bring or send (or cause to be brought or sent) a controlled substance into a correctional facility.
Specifically, it’s a crime to cause drugs or paraphernalia to enter any state, county, or city facility where inmates are under the custody of a law enforcement officer. This includes:
- State prisons
- Prison road camps
- Prison forestry camps
- Prison farms, and
- County or city jail.
All prison and jail facilities in California must post this prohibition on its premises to warn potential smugglers.
Felony Consequences for Bringing Drugs Into a Jail
The consequences for smuggling drugs or helping controlled substances enter a correctional facility are harsh. In California, bringing drugs into a jail is a felony offense. Penalties can include:
- 2, 3, or 4 years in a California state prison, and
- $10,000 in fines.
A court can also require a defendant to complete a term of supervised release. Requirements for the successful completion of this supervised release may include mandatory drug counseling, community service hours, and/or rehabilitation.
What Defenses Can I Use If I’m Accused of Bringing Drugs Into Jail?
You have the right to defend yourself if you’re accused of a crime. There are many different arguments that you can present in your defense if you’ve been accused of bringing drugs into a jail.
Lack of Knowledge: It’s only a crime under 4754 PC to knowingly bring or send drugs into a correctional facility. You can’t be guilty of the crime if you didn’t know that you were in possession of drugs in the first place.
Authorized By Law: You can’t be guilty of bringing drugs into a jail if you had permission to do so. Under 4573 PC, it’s permissible to bring drugs into the jail if you are “authorized by the person in charge…or by an officer of the institution empowered by the person in charge.”
Not a Jail: 4753 PC applies to situations in which drugs are brought into legitimate correctional facilities. You may be able to argue that the facility you entered is not covered under the umbrella provided by 4753 PC.
Fourth Amendment Violations: Was evidence in your case obtained in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights? If so, you can file a motion to suppress tainted state evidence.
Have you been arrested on drug-related charges in Los Angeles? A strong defense is crucial if you want to secure the best outcome in your case. Contact The Rodriguez Law Group to schedule a free consultation with our skilled criminal defense lawyers today.