Drug offenses are some of the most commonly prosecuted crimes, both in South Carolina and throughout the United States. However, while drug cases are common, they are rarely simple. When large quantities of illegal drugs are at issue, drug charges are often accompanied by other serious criminal charges. Depending on facts of the case at issue, the defendants may be charged with both federal and state crimes.
An example of how complex drug prosecutions can become can be found in a recent case stemming from Columbia, South Carolina. Four men pleaded guilty to federal charges after allegedly engaging in a conspiracy to steal a large quantify of drugs. Authorities say the men planned to engage in an armed robbery in order to obtain the drugs.
All four men pleaded guilty to violating the Hobbs Act, a federal law that criminalizes robberies and extortions that cross state lines. In addition, three of the defendants were convicted of other charges including drug trafficking and firearms offenses. Two of those three are accused of being members of the Bloods street gang.
The men were arrested after they shared their plans with a confidential informant working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. One of the men also sold marijuana and firearms to the informant.
Drug offenses are serious felonies that can result in lengthy prison sentences. The potential punishments become even more severe when additional crimes are involved. As such, it is important to start mounting a strong defense early on whenever drug offenses are at issue.
Source: The State, “Columbia men plead guilty to Hobbs Act robbery,” R. Darren Price, April 9, 2013.
Our law firm represents people charged with South Carolina drug crimes. For more information, please visit our website.