Three people were taken into custody in Washington County last week on drug charges involving fentanyl and crack cocaine. The Washington County Narcotics Task Force performed the drug raid at a Hagerstown apartment after first obtaining a warrant based on a narcotics investigation of that address.
The three suspects were in the apartment when the agents knocked on the door and announced that they had a warrant. The agents found 53 capsules weighing 19 grams that were field-tested positive for fentanyl, as well as an additional 20 capsules of suspected fentanyl, weighing 6 grams.
Under Maryland law, possession of five grams of fentanyl or more is categorized as a large amount.
Agents also seized three vials of suspected crack cocaine along with four syringes. According to one of the residents of the apartment, the third suspect, who is from Falling Water, W.Va., has been married to her for two years. He said that he had been staying in the apartment for only a week.
The charges included possession of large amounts of fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, and common nuisance charges.
When possession leads to intent to distribute
State laws are serious even for possession of controlled substances for personal use. But the penalties go up when combined with possession with intent to distribute charges. In this case, both federal and state laws may be invoked.
While cocaine and fentanyl are can be highly addictive substances, they are listed under the federal Controlled Substances Act as Schedule II drugs, as they do have accepted medical use in certain circumstances.
The trigger for the additional drug dealing or trafficking felony charges is if the drugs traveled across state lines, or if the drugs seized are above a certain amount according to statute. In addition, drug laws prohibit the possession of paraphernalia like bongs, crack pipes or syringes.
Fighting excessive drug charges
Drug convictions are very serious and can lead to long prison sentences. When a simple possession case for personal use has turned into federal drug trafficking and other charges, it is necessary to have a proven criminal defense attorney who can help you to fight off excessive distribution charges, and minimize the damage done to your life.