A New York pizza man chose to supplement his salary by trafficking relatively large quantities of cocaine and is alleged to have sold more than $40,000.00 worth of drugs over the past year. I could better understand if the man was delivering marijuana and food as the purchasers would be purchaseing the food to satisfy the upcoming "munchies" associated with marijuana use. However, this man had been dealing cocaine to the police since the fall of 2011. According to the online article, the man was arrested after one final delivery to an undercover officer of over one kilogram of cocaine, valued at more than $27,500.00.
Criminal Penalties for Delivering Cocaine
In Pennsylvania, delivery of any drug is an ungraded felony offense in violation of section 780-113(a)(30) of the Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act. Obviously, dealing cocaine is going to be treated more harshly than dealing marijuana, and dealing in larger quantities of drugs will also carry more severe penalties. In Pennsylvania, a charge of drug delivery involving larger quantities of drugs often subjects the person to mandatory minimum jail sentences and fines under the "drug trafficking" sentencing law under section 7508 of the Crimes Code.
In this case, as the police allege that the criminal defense delivered over a kilogram of cocaine, the man is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years in jail and a $25,000.00 fine. That is the minimum sentence IF the person does not have a prior conviction of drug delivery or other violations of 780-113(a)(30). This man is alleged to have delivered on numerous prior occasions, so, if he were to be convicted of drug delivery on one of those situations, the man would be facing a repeat offender increased mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in jail and a $50,000 fine.
Forfeiture of Car in Drug Delivery Cases
Aside from the criminal sentence associated with a conviction, it is highly like that the district attorney would seek to "forfeit" the man's vehicle. The term forfeit means that the government seizes and attempts to take ownership of items that are tied to criminal activity, such as drug money and cars used to transport drugs. In Pennsylvania, forfeitures are primarily controlled by statutory law as set forth in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6801. Generally speaking, the prosecution is allowed to seek forfeiture of "all conveyances, including aircraft, vehicles or vessels, which are used or are intended for use to transport, or in any manner to facilitate the transportation, sale, receipt, possession or concealment of" controlled substances. There are some defenses to forfeiture, such as a claim that the car was owned by someone else and that the owner was unaware that the car was being used for criminal purposes. In this case, if the man owned the car that he was driving, or if he had any cash on his person, it is highly likely that the government would seek to have those items forfeited as the vehicle was clearly used to facilitate the drug delivery.