In Nebraska, most drug trafficking charges arise from the transportation of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin on Interstate 80. While Nebraska does not have what law enforcement considers to be “drug origin” or “drug destination” cities, Interstate 80 remains a known drug transportation corridor. Interstate drug interdiction teams consisting of the Nebraska State Patrol and local county sheriff’s offices conduct interstate surveillance looking for suspicious vehicles with out-of-state license plates.
Nebraska law enforcement agencies use several tactics to stop drug trafficking on Interstate 80 and local highways. It is not uncommon for law enforcement to profile a car with out-of-state plates (especially from California, Washington, Oregon, or Colorado) and follow it closely until the driver commits an alleged traffic violation such as following too closely, failure to signal a lane change, or speeding. The traffic stop often turns into a drug trafficking investigation. When law enforcement fails to obtain valid consent to search a car suspected of trafficking drugs, police will use tactics to establish probable cause to search it.
While targeting out-of-state vehicles is legal (if there is a valid reason for a traffic stop), there are still several ways to defend an interstate drug stop case:
Other tactics used by the state patrol and other law enforcement agencies include checkpoints and “ruse” checkpoints. When law enforcement sets up checkpoints on the interstate, roads, or highways, there are certain rules it must follow, otherwise the traffic stop is illegal. While law enforcement may lawfully use some deceptive tactics during a drug trafficking investigation, not all tactics are legal.
Drug trafficking in Nebraska can carry severe penalties in both state and federal courts. Marijuana trafficking cases involving thousands of pounds of marijuana or millions of dollars are often prosecuted in federal court. However, interstate drug cases netting less than a thousand pounds are often charged by the state of Nebraska and carry a potential sentence of 0-20 years in prison.
Drug trafficking penalties in Nebraska state courts for trafficking cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other hard drugs are much more severe, starting at 1 to 50 years and going up to 20 years to life in prison. Federal drug trafficking penalties are similar, starting at zero to 20 years and going up to 10 years to life in prison for base offense levels.
The criminal defense attorneys at Berry Law Firm have extensive experience fighting drug trafficking charges in the state of Nebraska and beyond. Berry Law Firm’s drug defense reputation is based on decades of winning results. Our attorneys support and defend the Constitutional rights of the individual, holding law enforcement accountable.
Protect your rights. Protect your future. Contact the experienced, nationally recognized drug trafficking defense lawyers at Berry Law Firm.
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