A routine traffic stop in Oklahoma City led to the arrest of two men on drug trafficking complaints after a police officer discovered eleven pounds of crystal methamphetamine in the vehicle. According to the incident report, an Oklahoma City police officer conducted the stop for a traffic violation near I-40 and South Council Road at approximately 3:20 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Because of “suspicious circumstances,” the police officer searched the vehicle, finding a cardboard box containing the crystal meth.
Police arrested two California men, Juan Carlos Montano, 27, of South Gate and Oscar Edel Melendez, 28, of Cudahy, on complaints of aggravated Trafficking of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. The men were booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on $25,000 bond each.
Drug trafficking is a serious drug crime with penalties much more serious than those of possession with intent to distribute. While the difference between simple possession and possession for sale is not determined by the weight or quantity of the drug involved, trafficking is determined by the amount of drug being transported or possessed. A person may be charged with trafficking in meth if he or she possesses an amount of 20 grams or more of a mixture containing any detectable amount of methamphetamine. Eleven pounds of meth is nearly 5,000 grams–much more than enough to trigger Oklahoma’s trafficking statute.
The Oklahoma Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act comprises §63-2-415 through §63-2-420 of the state statutes and the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act. Among other things, the Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act prohibits anyone from
possessing, manufacturing, distributing, or bringing into the state certain drugs in certain quantities:
- Marijuana – 25 pounds or more
- Cocaine – 28 grams or more
- Heroin – 10 grams or more
- Amphetamine or methamphetamine – 20 grams or more
- LSD – 50 doses or more
- PCP – 1 ounce or more
- Cocaine base (crack) – 5 grams or more
For each of the above drugs, a greater amount leads to even stronger penalties. For example, trafficking in methamphetamine yields a minimum fine of $25,000 and a maximum fine of $250,000 if the amount in possession is between 20 and 199 grams. If the amount is 200 grams or more, the potential fine is $50,000 to $500,000. Trafficking in illegal drugs is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.
Possession with intent to distribute is determined by circumstances including the presence of scales, cash, or packing materials, or possession of an unspecified amount determined to be greater than what one might have for personal use. Trafficking is determined by the possession of large quantities of drugs or by the transportation of certain controlled dangerous substances into Oklahoma. Facing state or federal trafficking charges is a serious problem, and one which requires skillful defense. When you need a drug trafficking lawyer in Oklahoma, visit our website at Oklahoma-Criminal-Defense.com to submit a confidential case review form.