Faced with Smuggling Charges in Houston?

Houston Drug Defense Attorney with Over 17 Years' Experience

Smuggling is defined as the illegal transportation of goods or persons; this can include smuggling knives into a prison, or smuggling drugs across an international border such as from Mexico into Texas. There are a number of motivations to smuggle, these include participating in the illegal drug trade, in illegal immigration, providing contraband to a prison inmate or stealing the items that are being smuggled. Smuggling generally occurs when individuals wish to supply the demand for a product or service which is either illegal or heavily taxed. In the United States, some of the common goods smuggled include illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and weapons (illegal arms trade).

Smugglers face significant risks including lengthy terms of imprisonment and exorbitant fines; however, the profits of smuggling are extensive and enticing and many such drug smugglers think it's worth the risk. In the drug smuggling trade, smuggling can be an intricate operation where smugglers can conceal small amounts of drugs to an entire shipment. Smugglers make every attempt to avoid border checks and they accomplish this by using backpackers, couriers, horses and mules, maritime vessels, rail, overland smuggling routes, smuggling tunnels, and aircraft.

Drug smugglers will submit to border checks with the smuggled goods hidden in their vehicle, under their clothes, or even inside their own bodies. While a large number of smugglers are caught each year by customs, many are still missed.

Texas DPS Criminal Investigations Division

In Texas, the Texas DPS Criminal Investigations Division (formerly the Criminal Law Enforcement Division) consists of 800 team members, including 654 officers and 164 support personnel. The CID's Drug Program is responsible for overseeing the state's enforcement against the illegal drug trafficking trade in Texas. The Drug Program's investigative personnel collaborate with local, state, and federal agencies across Texas and the nation to conduct intelligence-led investigations.

With the state's expansive border with Mexico, immigration and drug smuggling is a focus of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents, along with local police, the DEA, and the FBI are continuously addressing the war on drugs. According to the FBI, the Southwest border (SWB) of the United States is the principal arrival zone for most of the illegal drugs smuggled into the United States, and it is the predominant staging area for those drugs being distributed throughout the country. According to the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), the majority of the cocaine, foreign-source marijuana and methamphetamine, and Mexican-heroin in the U.S. are smuggled across the SWB.

The SWB provides the perfect environment for drug smuggling due to its enormous volume of people and goods that legitimately cross the borders between the U.S. and Mexico every day. What's more, large sections of the 2,000 mile land border are vast and remote, and therefore provide additional smuggling opportunities. In response to this problem, the DEA and the FBI, in collaboration with the ICE, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and other local, state and federal authorities are attacking drug smugglers on many levels.

What are the penalties for drug smuggling?

Drug smuggling or trafficking is a federal offense. Depending on the type of drug and the quantity, you could be facing anywhere from 5 years in prison to life in prison, and millions of dollars in fines. For example, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, a conviction for trafficking 5 kilograms or more of cocaine can land you in prison for a minimum of 10 years and up to $10 million dollars in fines. The federal trafficking penalties for 1,000 kilograms of marijuana on a first offense is no less than 10 years or more than life in prison, and up to $10 million in fines for an individual or $50 million in fines if other than an individual.

Houston Drug Crime Lawyer For Over a Decade

If you are facing charges for smuggling, you may very well have agencies such as the FBI, ICE, or DEA involved, and this is not a good thing. You are urged to contact Houston drug crime lawyer Mark Morasch at once to discuss your charges. With more than six years of experience as a prosecutor and with more than ten years of experience as a criminal lawyer, he has the knowledge and the skills to defend you. He was recognized by H Texas Magazine as one of Houston's Top Lawyers for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. He understands the harsh Texas criminal justice system and the consequences you are currently facing. You need a solid defense from an attorney such as Mark Morasch to defend you against state or federal drug charges; contact the firm today!

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