A Texas traffic stop has led to a 10-month prison sentence for a 22-year-old man for alleged drug trafficking. The accused was pulled over by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper in Van Zandt County in March 2013 for speeding. During the stop, the trooper reportedly detected the scent of marijuana. According to police reports, the trooper found nearly 4.5 kilograms of marijuana on the back floorboard as well as a loaded .40 caliber, semi-automatic pistol on the floor of the front driver’s side of the car.
On Nov. 13, the accused pleaded guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute and was handed a sentence of 10 months in federal prison. He was also sentenced to forfeit $10,000 that he allegedly made selling marijuana. The gun that was found in the car was also confiscated.
The accused may have pleaded guilty as part of a negotiated plea deal in exchange for reduced charges and a less severe sentence. Prosecutors are often willing to discuss plea deals in drug-related cases. If the evidence strongly suggests that a conviction is likely, it may be wise for the accused to consider a plea.
A criminal defense attorney with drug charge experience may be able to advise an accused individual on how best to proceed with their defense. A plea could be the recommended route or the attorney may find holes in the case that he or she believes could lead to an acquittal or dismissal. The attorney may represent the accused at trial or in any plea negotiations to either avoid a conviction or obtain the least severe penalties possible.
Source: KLTV, “Shreveport man arrested in East Texas on drug trafficking charges sentenced to prison“, Marshall Stephens, January 15, 2014