35-year-old waitress (name withheld for privacy) was arrested at the end of this past month for conspiracy to ship methamphetamines to the state of Wyoming. In fact, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department had been working with Wyoming law enforcement agents for more than two months on the case when the charges were levied.
In California, selling and transporting drugs is a crime (CA Health and Safety Code 11352). Under that particular law, not only are methamphetamines considered a controlled substance, but also heroin, opiates, and cocaine. When she was arrested, there were several different illegal drugs found in her apartment. However, the charge of conspiracy to transport illegal drugs is most concerning.
The prosecution will have to prove that she was aware of the fact that drugs were actually being transported, even a short distance; they will also have to prove that there was a large enough amount of the drug in her possession to warrant it being considered a controlled substance, this can be even a trace amount. Investigations for this particular crime are carried out in secret, using confidential informants, tricking individuals into selling drugs to law enforcement officials, or using various surveillance methods. Thus, arguing for entrapment, police misconduct, and/or the illegality of a search and seizure are the best defenses. It is especially important to pay attention to these factors, considering that charges of this nature are considered a felony in California and a conviction carries with it up to 5 years in state prison and a fine of up to $20,000. (depending on the circumstances).