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Trafficking Through Time

History Of Drug Trafficking In Texas?

The history of drug trafficking in Texas is intertwined with the broader context of drug trafficking in the United States. Texas, with its extensive border with Mexico and its strategic location, has long been a significant transit point for illicit drugs entering the country.

In the early 20th century, Texas became a prominent route for smuggling alcohol during the Prohibition era. With the implementation of alcohol prohibition from 1920 to 1933, criminal organizations capitalized on the lucrative black market for alcohol, smuggling it from Mexico and other states into Texas for distribution throughout the United States. This period laid the foundation for organized crime networks and their involvement in illicit activities, including drug trafficking.

The illicit drug trade in Texas escalated during the mid-20th century with the rise of marijuana and heroin smuggling. Mexican drug trafficking organizations took advantage of the porous border between Mexico and Texas, establishing smuggling routes and networks that facilitated the transportation of drugs into the United States. The Mexican marijuana industry expanded significantly during this time, with Texas serving as a primary entry point.

In the 1980s, Texas, like the rest of the United States, experienced a surge in cocaine trafficking. The emergence of powerful Colombian drug cartels, such as the Medellín Cartel and the Cali Cartel, played a significant role in smuggling cocaine into Texas and other states. The high demand for cocaine in the United States led to increased violence and the growth of drug trafficking organizations operating in Texas.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, methamphetamine became a major concern in Texas. The state witnessed a rise in the production and distribution of methamphetamine, often referred to as “meth,” with both domestic and international sources. Methamphetamine labs were prevalent, especially in rural areas, and law enforcement agencies worked diligently to dismantle these clandestine operations.

In recent years, the opioid crisis has affected Texas, as it has the rest of the country. Prescription opioids and illicitly manufactured opioids, such as fentanyl, have contributed to a rise in overdose deaths and increased drug trafficking activities. Mexican drug cartels have been involved in smuggling fentanyl and other opioids across the border into Texas.

Throughout its history, Texas has implemented various law enforcement strategies to combat drug trafficking, including increased border security, intelligence gathering, interagency cooperation, and initiatives targeting drug trafficking organizations. However, the challenge persists due to the complex nature of the drug trade and the ever-evolving tactics employed by traffickers.

It’s important to note that drug trafficking is a multifaceted issue influenced by factors such as drug demand, socioeconomic conditions, international drug policies, and law enforcement efforts. Addressing drug trafficking requires a comprehensive approach that involves not only law enforcement but also prevention, education, treatment, and support for individuals struggling with substance abuse.

Drug Trafficking In Texas

Drug trafficking is a serious criminal offense involving the illegal transportation, distribution, and sale of controlled substances. Texas, being a large state with extensive borders and transportation networks, has faced significant challenges in combating drug trafficking activities. The state serves as a major transit point for drugs being smuggled into the United States from Mexico and other countries.

The most commonly trafficked drugs in Texas include marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription opioids. The proximity of Texas to Mexico makes it particularly vulnerable to drug trafficking organizations that exploit the border to transport drugs into the United States. Mexican drug cartels, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, Gulf Cartel, and Juarez Cartel, have a significant presence in Texas and play a major role in drug trafficking activities.

Law enforcement agencies in Texas, such as the Texas Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), work together to combat drug trafficking. They employ various strategies, including border security operations, intelligence gathering, undercover operations, and interagency cooperation to disrupt drug trafficking networks. Additionally, local law enforcement agencies in Texas collaborate with federal agencies to enforce drug laws and apprehend individuals involved in drug trafficking.

The consequences for drug trafficking offenses in Texas are severe. The penalties vary based on the type and quantity of drugs involved, as well as the defendant’s criminal history. Convictions for drug trafficking can result in lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and asset forfeiture. Texas also has mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug trafficking offenses, which means that judges have limited discretion in imposing penalties.

It’s important to note that drug trafficking is a complex issue, and efforts to combat it require a comprehensive approach involving law enforcement, border security, international cooperation, prevention programs, and treatment for individuals struggling with substance abuse.

Texas Health & Safety § 481.125

The Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.125 is a specific section of the Texas law that pertains to the offense of drug trafficking or delivery of controlled substances. This section outlines the penalties and consequences for individuals involved in the illegal sale, distribution, or delivery of controlled substances in Texas.

According to § 481.125, it is illegal for a person to knowingly manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. The section provides a comprehensive list of controlled substances categorized into penalty groups, ranging from Group 1 to Group 4. The penalty groups are based on the potential for abuse and the recognized medical use of the substances.

The penalties for drug trafficking offenses under § 481.125 are as follows Group 1 and Group 2 controlled substances.

Less than 1 gram: State jail felony, punishable by confinement in a state jail for a term of 180 days to 2 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

1 gram or more but less than 4 grams: Third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

4 grams or more but less than 200 grams: Second-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

200 grams or more but less than 400 grams: First-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for 5 to 99 years or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

400 grams or more: Enhanced first-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for 10 to 99 years or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

Group 3 And Group 4 Controlled Substances

Less than 28 grams: State jail felony, punishable by confinement in a state jail for a term of 180 days to 2 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

28 grams or more but less than 200 grams: Third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

200 grams or more but less than 400 grams: Second-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

400 grams or more: Enhanced first-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for 10 to 99 years or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

It’s important to note that these penalties are subject to change, and there may be additional factors or circumstances that can impact the severity of the charges and the resulting penalties. The specific details of a drug trafficking offense, such as the type and quantity of the controlled substance involved and the defendant’s criminal history, can also influence the charges and potential sentences imposed.

Texas Health and Safety § 481.137

This section addresses the offense of transferring precursor substances for the purpose of unlawful manufacture of controlled substances. Precursor substances are chemicals or materials used in the production or synthesis of controlled substances such as methamphetamine.

Section 481.137 prohibits knowingly transferring a precursor substance to another person if the transferor intends or knows that the recipient will use the substance to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance. The section also prohibits possessing a precursor substance with the intent to transfer it for the unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance.

The penalties for offenses under Section 481.137

If the offense involves a precursor substance listed in Penalty Group 1, such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine.

Less than one gram: State jail felony, punishable by confinement in a state jail for a term of 180 days to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

One gram or more but less than 400 grams: Second-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

400 grams or more: Enhanced first-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

If the offense involves a precursor substance listed in Penalty Group 2 or Penalty Group 2-A, such as iodine, red phosphorus, or hydriodic acid.

Less than one gram: State jail felony, punishable by confinement in a state jail for a term of 180 days to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

One gram or more but less than 400 grams: Third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

400 grams or more: Enhanced first-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for 5 to 99 years or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

It’s important to note that these penalties are subject to change, and there may be additional factors or circumstances that can impact the severity of the charges and the resulting penalties. It’s advisable to refer to the most recent version of the Texas Health and Safety Code or consult with a legal professional for precise and up-to-date information regarding specific statutes and their implications.

Need Help? Call Us Now!

Do not forget that when you or anyone you know is facing a criminal charge, you have us, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, by your side to help you build the best defense case for you. We will work and be in your best interest for you and we will obtain the best possible outcome that can benefit you. We can explain everything you need to know about your trial and how to defend your case best. We can help you step by step through the criminal process.

Therefore, do not hesitate to call us if you find yourself or someone you know that is facing criminal charges unsure about the court system. We will work with you to give you the best type of defense that can help you solve your case. It is vital to have someone explain the result of the charge to you and guide you in the best possible way.

Here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we have professional and knowledgeable criminal law attorneys who are experienced in building a defense case for you that suits your needs for the best possible outcome that can benefit you.

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