Statistics on drug trafficking offenses

Statistics on drug trafficking offenses

Drug trafficking is a serious crime and it has stiff penalties. This is especially true if it is charged at the federal level. Here are some statistics on federal drug trafficking, as well as some other federal drug offenses.

— Six types of drugs accounted for almost all of the drug trafficking cases. Those drugs were cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and oxycodone.

— Powder cocaine and meth accounted for 48.1 percent of all federal drug trafficking offenses. Powder cocaine edged out meth by .1 percent for the top spot.

— Despite a 9.6 percent reduction in drug trafficking defendants, drug trafficking offenses were responsible for 30.4 percent of all cases in fiscal year 2013.

— Just under 86 percent of all offenders were male.

— Nearly 50 percent of the offenders were Hispanic.

— Blacks comprised 26.7 percent of drug traffickers.

— Whites comprised just over 22 percent.

— Nearly half had a criminal history or had one with few convictions.

— The possession of a weapon was a factor in 16.3 percent of cases.

— Just over 96 percent of offenders were sent to prison.

These statistics can give you a good idea of what federal prosecutors are used to seeing in court when it comes to drug trafficking charges. A strong defense strategy is needed as is a criminal defense attorney with experience in federal court. Federal court operates a bit differently from a state or local court, so this experience is necessary. While no outcome can ever be guaranteed in court, you do want to make sure you have excellent legal representation by your side.

Source: United States Sentencing Commission, “Drug Trafficking Offenses,” accessed May. 19, 2015

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