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New York Criminal Defense Law Blog

Man facing drug charges for possession of cocaine

A New York man was facing drug charges on Jan. 3 after authorities conducted a traffic stop on his vehicle. The 30-year-old man was charged with four counts of third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and five counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Albion police and the Orleans County Sheriff's Office major felony crime task force pulled the vehicle over on West Avenue in Albion. During the stop, authorities reportedly found a large amount of crack cocaine that appeared to be packaged for sale. He was arraigned in the Town of Gaines Court. He was being held without bail due to the fact that he had a previous criminal history.

Most New Yorkers support legalization of recreational marijuana

Most New Yorkers want recreational marijuana to be legal. According to the NY Daily News, 62 percent of voters in New York support legalizing recreational cannabis for people who are 21 years old and older. There have been legislative efforts to legalize pot in New York over the past few years, but they have no traction yet.

Despite shifting public opinion, law enforcement cracks down hard on those who possess and sell weed. Here is a look at the current laws in New York and what may change in the future.

New York man sentenced to 9 years on drugs conviction

For people in New York accused of serious drug crimes, significant prison sentences can be a very real consequence. In one case, a 21-year-old man from New York City was stopped in his vehicle and found to possess 2,195 bags of heroin. The man was sentenced in December 2017 to nine years in state prison, the maximum sentence associated with the charges against him.

The defendant had hidden the heroin inside a secret compartment inside his van. Underneath the center console of the Chrysler minivan was a metal plate and a concealed area designed for the transportation of the packets; the hidden area could be locked shut. The special transportation system was a significant part of the state's case against the man, as they accused him of having a vehicle built specifically for drug trafficking.

Man accused of trafficking meth, marijuana and pills

A 30-year-old New York man was charged with drug and weapons offenses on Dec. 14 for allegedly trafficking crystal meth. He was reportedly taken into custody following the execution of search warrant at a residence located in the 400 block of Cass Hill Road in Tioga County.

During the execution of the search warrant, authorities reportedly recovered about 3 grams of crystal methamphetamine. Additionally, they found 3 pounds of marijuana as well as hydromorphone pills and hydrocodone pills. About $13,300 in cash, two cell phones and other drug paraphernalia were also recovered. In addition to the drugs, police seized multiple guns and ammunition, including an AK-47, loaded .45-caliber pistol and loaded Cobra pistol.

Kidnapping as a federal crime

In certain circumstances, federal authority may be exercised if a New York resident is kidnapped. This may be true if a person is taken across state lines or if the kidnapping involves a protected foreign national. In some cases, the federal government will get involved in cases where a parent has taken a child out of the country if that child is under the age of 16.

In addition to being removed from the country, a parent would need to take such action in order to interfere with the other parent's rights. However, this is not the only kidnapping offense against a minor that may be subject to federal jurisdiction. Those who are over the age of 18 who kidnap people under the age of 18 may face harsher penalties if convicted. This may not apply if the individual is a parent, grandparent or sibling of the child or if the person with the child has legal custody of the minor.

2 facing drug charges following drug trafficking bust

New York authorities took two Suffolk County residents into custody on Nov. 30 following an investigation into a drug trafficking ring. The two individuals were identified as a 25-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman.

Detectives reportedly executed a search warrant at home located in the 900 block of Easton Street in Ronkonkoma at 5:30 a.m. During the execution of the search warrant, authorities found 320 grams of cocaine, 75 grams of heroin, 130 grams of crack cocaine and 23 grams of crystal methamphetamine. In addition to the drugs, authorities recovered drug packaging paraphernalia, including scales and cutting agents. Furthermore, they found three loaded handguns, numerous rounds of ammunition and $10,000 in cash.

New York landlord pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

On Nov. 27, a well-known New York landlord pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to mortgage fraud. The defendant was also found guilty of attempting to illegally evict tenants from one of his properties earlier in the year.

According to media reports, the defendant was part of an illegal scheme to use fake loan documents to bilk money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He pleaded guilty to charges of mortgage fraud, forgery and grand larceny.

Getting your rights back after drug convictions

If you receive a conviction for a serious drug offense, you can expect that it will impact numerous areas of your life. From your ability to find a job to your ability to secure housing or student loans, a serious drug conviction can have severe collateral consequences that can impact your life for many years and even permanently.

Just what are collateral consequences for drug crimes, and is there any way to avoid them?

Federal carjacking offenses

In New York, carjacking is a crime that can be prosecuted under state law. It may also be prosecuted as a federal offense if certain circumstances apply. People who are charged with carjacking under federal law may face substantial penalties if they are convicted of the offense.

Carjacking is codified at 18 U.S.C. § 2119. Under this federal law, people may be found to be guilty of carjacking if they take vehicles that have been shipped, transported or received via interstate transport from others while the defendants have the intent to cause serious bodily harm or to cause the death of the victims.

Report reveals that black offenders receive harsher sentences

A recent report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission indicates that black men serve longer sentences than white men convicted of the same crimes. The commission is an independent and bipartisan agency of the judicial branch of the federal government. It is tasked with issuing sentencing guidelines and monitoring how closely these guidelines are followed by federal judges in New York and across the country.

The USSC's Demographic Differences in Sentencing report, which is based on data gathered between 2012 and 2016, reveals that the custodial sentences handed down to African American male criminal defendants are 19.1 percent longer on average than those received by white male offenders. The report also suggests that this sentencing disparity cannot be explained by an offender's prior history of violent conduct. When violence is taken into account, the disparity in sentencing between black and white offenders increases to 20.4 percent, according to the USSC.

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