Several people were arrested in connection with a drug distribution ring police believe was operating out of a Los Angeles dog boarding facility. Police arrested one man, who had an outstanding warrant, and found heroin and methamphetamine in his possession. When they searched the premises, officers discovered “numerous items indicating that narcotic sales” were happening at the kennel. The individuals arrested will face various drug crime charges, including possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Penalty For Drug Crimes Depends on the Drug
During a search of the suspects and business premises, police found large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine. Both of these are illegal controlled substances under California state and federal law. However, penalties for possessing and/or selling these drugs are different.
Crimes Involving Heroin
Heroin is classified as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. A Schedule I drug is considered to have no medicinal purposes and have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Criminal penalties for crimes involving heroin and other Schedule I drugs are the harshest.
Possession of Heroin For Personal Use: A first offense can be a misdemeanor. Penalties can include 12 months in a Los Angeles County Jail and/or $20,000 in fines.
Possession of Heroin For Sale: A felony, punishable by between two and four years in prison. You can be sentenced to an additional three to 25 years in prison if you have more than 1 kilogram of heroin for sale.
Transporting Heroin For Sale: It’s not just a crime to possess heroin for sale, but also to transport the drug across more than two counties to sell it. This is a felony, punishable by up to nine years in prison.
It’s also a crime to be under the influence of heroin or present while the drug is used by others. These crimes are misdemeanors, carrying the potential of 12 months and six months in jail, respectively.
Crimes Involving Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II Controlled Substance in California. Schedule II drugs are believed to have some medicinal purpose. While they’re considered to be slightly less dangerous than Schedule I drugs, they still carry a high risk of abuse.
Possession of Methamphetamine For Personal Use: Possession of methamphetamine is typically a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail. However, you could face felony charges if you have a large quantity of the drugs in your possession.
Possession of Methamphetamine For Sale: It’s also a crime to possess methamphetamine with the intent to sell. Intent is inferred based on how much of the drug you have, as well as your possession of things associated with sales, such as scales, bags, or cash. This is a felony, which carries between 16 months and three years in a California prison.
Transporting Methamphetamine For Sale: You can also be arrested for transporting large quantities of methamphetamine. This felony is punishable by between one and four years in prison.
Drug Paraphernalia Crimes
In addition to facing charges for possessing illegal drugs, you can also be arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. Paraphernalia is defined to mean devices that allow you to inject or smoke an illegal drug. Examples might include pipes, bongs, syringes, and hypodermic needles.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor in California, carrying a sentence of up to six months in jail. However, a drug-related conviction can have serious collateral consequences. You might lose your professional license or find that it’s difficult to find a job.