Have you been arrested in the state of Nebraska for drug trafficking on Interstate 80? I-80 is notorious for being a major East-West drug trafficking route, with the money traveling west and drugs traveling to markets in the Midwest and East Coast. The highways and interstate enable narcotics transportation from West Coast ports of entry to distribution hubs in cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, and Boston. Due to the legalization of marijuana in many states, the drug trafficking trade has made I-80 a primary route for moving marijuana from the states of Washington, California, and Colorado, to Midwestern and Eastern states where pot is not yet legalized. This makes out-of-state travelers on I-80 with license plates from states that have legalized marijuana a target for law enforcement to stop and search. The Nebraska state patrol often stops these vehicles for an alleged minor traffic violation in order to search for drugs as well as for large sums of cash which are the alleged proceeds of the interstate drug trade.
The penalties you face for a conviction on charges of drug trafficking or related offenses depend on several factors, including the quantity and type of drugs and whether you are being prosecuted by the state or federal government. Generally, a sentence for crimes of this nature can include:
The penalty of having your cash confiscated could leave you feeling helpless and enraged. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know how to challenge asset forfeiture actions and the associated criminal charges, such as money laundering, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting the consummation of a felony, in both state and federal interstate drug cases. Asset Forfeiture in I-80 Drug Stop Cases
Although it is not illegal to possess large sums of cash, prosecutors believe it is a violation to pass through the state of Nebraska in possession of money that has been obtained through the sale of illegal drugs or is intended for the purchase of illegal drugs.
If unusually large sums of cash are found in the vehicle, it may be assumed that the money is being used for drug trafficking and the cash is liable to be seized by the officer regardless of whether criminal charges are filed against the driver or other occupants. According to the Washington Post, nearly $2.5 billion have been forfeited in 62,000 cases of asset seizure without a warrant or indictment made against the suspect.
In effect, your property is "guilty" and confiscated until you can prove it innocent. The burden of proof for the government is lower in a civil asset forfeiture case than a criminal case. A strong criminal defense attorney who knows how to attack forfeiture cases can use this for your defense.
Click here to download our Drug Stop Handbook.