Maryland Police Arrest 3 People in Salisbury for Various Drug Crimes
The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office completed a month-long investigation by arresting three people in Salisbury for various Maryland drug crimes, according to an article by ABC affiliate WMDT.
In early June, sheriff’s deputies executed a search and seizure warrant at a domicile in the 400 block of Lindenhurst Court. In the process, the deputies were able to seize cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, and a firearm with live ammunition. The deputies also discovered a large amount of currency and various drug paraphernalia.
As a result, the three alleged offenders face various criminal charges. Several of the common charges are possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and use of a weapon in relation to drug trafficking.
In order to comprehend the seriousness of these charges, it will be helpful to review several Maryland statutory laws.
Possession with Intent to Distribute
Possession with intent to deliver is established in Maryland Code, Criminal Law Section 5-602. Under this section, it is unlawful to:
- Distribute or otherwise dispense a controlled substance; or
- Possess a controlled substance in a large enough quantity to indicate an intent to distribute or otherwise dispense.
Maryland law punishes distribution and possession with intent to distribute in the same way, though the applicable penalty does change based on the type of controlled substance in question.
In the present news story, the charges relate to possession with intent to distribute cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana. All of these substances are classified under Schedules I and II in Maryland, punishable as outlined in Maryland Code, Criminal Law Section 5-608.
Any person who distributes or possesses with the intent to distribute a Schedule I/II controlled substance will face the following penalty structure:
- First or Second Conviction — The offender is guilty of a felony and subject to a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and fines up to $15,000;
- Third Conviction — The offender is guilty of a felony and subject to a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and fines up to $25,000; or
- Fourth or Subsequent Conviction — The offender is guilty of a felony and subject to a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
Use of Weapon in Relation to Drug Trafficking
Use of a weapon in relation to a drug trafficking crime is detailed in Maryland Code, Criminal Law Section 5-621. Under this section, the term drug trafficking crime refers to the following felonies or conspiracies to commit these felonies:
- Possession of a controlled substance;
- Distribution of a controlled substance
- Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; or
- Importation of a controlled substance.
When a person is committing or conspiring to commit any of the drug crimes above, it is a separate crime to have a firearm at the same time. More specifically, Section 5-621 prohibits the possession, use, carrying, or transportation of firearms in connection with the drug crimes listed above.
Any person who violates Section 5-621 will face the following penalty structure:
- First Conviction — The offender is guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment for a period of five to 20 years; or
- Second or Subsequent Conviction — The offender is guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment for a period of 10 to 20 years.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal help with Maryland charges for a drug crime, it can be highly beneficial to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney. The Bel Air drug crimes attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in criminal and family law, including various drug crimes and other offenses. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.