Recent news reports have indicated that current drug problems in Colorado are not necessarily limited to marijuana or its legalization. In fact, drugs considered to be more dangerous to users have seen a spike in use in recent months across the state of Colorado, leading to a push by local and state law enforcement agencies to crack down on these dangerous substances.
According to an article in The Denver Post, 16 people are currently facing criminal charges because of their alleged involvement in a major cocaine ring in the Denver area. In a cooperative effort between local law enforcement, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Front Range Drug Task Force and the Adams County District Attorney’s Office, search warrants for the people allegedly involved in the drug ring were executed on June 9 in the following locations: Thornton, Commerce City, Lakewood, and Arvada. According to the article, the investigation into those allegedly involved in this drug ring began in September and culminated in the seizure of more than a half-pound of cocaine, $30,000 in cash, weapons, and large amounts of prescription drugs.
The 16 defendants are currently facing charges related to distributing large amounts of cocaine as well as illegal prescription drugs. Colorado law may allow some drug trafficking charges to be filed depending on the circumstances surrounding each defendant’s individual alleged involvement in the drug ring. Three defendants are currently facing additional charges that include racketeering and operating a criminal enterprise in violation of the Colorado Crime Control Act.
Understanding Drug Charges
The actual charge for possession and distribution of controlled substances can often depend on the type and amount of the controlled substance involved in the alleged crime. For instance, while recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, possession of marijuana over the legally allowed limit is still a crime. If you have four ounces or less of marijuana or two ounces or less of related concentrate, you could be found guilty of a Level 1 Drug Misdemeanor. However, possession of more than that could result in the accused facing charges related to a Level 4 Drug Felony. There are often drastic differences between the sentencing ranges for misdemeanors and felonies, which highlights the importance of securing a criminal defense attorney with experience in handling drugs charges if you are facing them.
Sentencing for drug crimes can also be affected by aggravating circumstances. These types of circumstances can include mandatory aggravating circumstances, such as being on parole for another felony or having escaped from felony confinement. There are also discretionary aggravating circumstances that a trial court may use in order to enforce sentencing based on such aggravating circumstances.
Finding Legal Assistance
If you are facing drug charges in Colorado, you could be facing serious consequences. It is important that you secure a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin working with you on your case. A criminal defense attorney with experience in handling drug-related charges can help explain the charges you are facing as well as the potential consequences for them. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation about the circumstances of your case.
(photo courtesy of Michael Srichter)