Although recreational marijuana use is legal in many states, people can still face criminal charges for selling or distributing marijuana in Michigan. Generally, there are numerous elements the prosecution must prove to establish guilt in a drug trafficking case, including intent. As such, if there is no evidence that a person knowingly moved drugs, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to persuade the government to drop any pending charges against the individual.
For example, Ellen K. Michaels of Ellen K. Michaels and Associates, PLLC, recently fought for the dismissal of federal drug smuggling charges against a Canadian trucker where there was no evidence that he knew he was transporting marijuana. Ultimately, Ms. Michaels’ efforts were successful, and the charges were dismissed. If you are accused of committing a drug crime, it is in your best interest to meet with an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Government’s Allegations
It is reported that a Canadian trucker was recently stopped and arrested in Detroit after an inspection by Customs and Border Protection revealed there were seven pallets of marijuana in his trailer. Subsequently, federal agents seized more than 2,000 pounds of highly potent marijuana, which has an estimated street value of $3.6 million. The trucker was charged with possession with intent to distribute, a crime that could result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years.
Allegedly, the affidavit against the trucker noted that the quantity of drugs seized was consistent with large-scale smuggling and distribution activities. Further, it stated that the trucker’s arrest was part of a greater drug trend, as parties routinely smuggle Canadian grown marijuana into the United States via commercial trucks and distribute it throughout the northwestern and southeastern parts of the country, where potent marijuana is difficult to obtain.
The Defense Offered by Attorney Michaels
Attorney Michaels, who represented the trucker, argued the charges should be dropped as there was no evidence the trucker knew that the cargo he was transporting was illicit. She collected evidence that supported her position, which persuaded the federal government to drop the charges, and the trucker was released after spending 16 days in jail.
Specifically, Attorney Michaels gathered the paperwork relating to the transaction, which showed that the trucker was hired to transport coil springs after drug dealers hacked into the trucking company’s computers and created a fake order. The shipper loaded the cargo and sealed the truck, requiring the trucker to remain in the cab during the process. Thus, there was no reason for him to believe he was transporting marijuana, not coils. As the charged offense requires proof that the trucker intended to deliver illicit substances, Attorney Michaels clearly demonstrated that the prosecution could not meet its burden of proof should the case proceed to trial. As such, the government dismissed the charges.
Speak to a Trusted Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
A conviction for a federal drug charge can result in significant penalties, but if the prosecution cannot demonstrate each element of the charged offense, it should not be able to obtain a guilty verdict. If you are accused of drug trafficking, it is smart to speak to an attorney about your rights. Ellen Michaels of Ellen K. Michaels and Associates, PLLC is a trusted Michigan criminal defense lawyer who can gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable outcome. You can schedule a conference with Ms. Michaels by calling 248-202-3345 or using the online form.