Sale of Cocaine
Under the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, one who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into the state or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of 28 grams or more of cocaine or of any mixture containing cocaine but less than 150 kilograms of cocaine or any such mixture commits the first-degree felony of “trafficking in cocaine.
Jail Time for Selling Coke (Cocaine)
The crime carries a mandatory minimum sentence and fine of three years’ imprisonment and $50,000 if the offense involves 28 or more grams of cocaine but less than 200 grams; seven years’ imprisonment and $ 100,000 if the offense involves 200 or more grams of cocaine but less than 400 grams; and 15 years’ imprisonment and $ 250,000 if the offense involves 400 or more grams of cocaine but less than 150 kilograms.
Trafficking in 150 kilograms or more of cocaine is a first-degree felony punishable by a term of life imprisonment without eligibility for any form of discretionary early release, except pardon or executive clemency or conditional medical release, but it is a capital felony if, in addition, the person culpably causes the death of another person.
What Is Trafficking of Cocaine?
To support a conviction for trafficking in cocaine, the state must prove three essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) the person knowingly sold, purchased, manufactured, brought into the state, or actively or constructively possessed a certain substance, (2) the substance was cocaine, and (3) the quantity of the substance met the statutory weight threshold.
The State’s Roll in Prosecuting the Cocaine Dealer.
In a prosecution for trafficking in cocaine, the state bears the burden of proving as an essential element that the statutory specified minimum weight of cocaine was involved. So, if you deliver delivery a bag of cocaine containing 27.9 grams along with an additional half-gram of cocaine found on you is a sufficient amount to support a drug-trafficking conviction which required that the you be in possession of at least 28 grams of cocaine.
In determining the amount of cocaine, the State considers the full weight of mixtures containing cocaine; thus, it is irrelevant that certain portions of a mixture tested negative for cocaine while others tested positive, and the State need not prove that contraband weighing 1,006 grams contained at least 400 grams of pure cocaine .
What if The Coke (Cocaine) was cut or mixed?
Where the cocaine or mixture is in powdered form and contained in separate packages each holding less than the statutory minimum amount, the state must test and identify cocaine in enough of the individual packets so that the quantity requirement is satisfied when those packets are added together. In such a case, the requirement cannot be satisfied merely by chemically testing one or two of the packages, these amounting to less than the minimum weight, and visually inspecting the remaining packages for the presence of a similar-looking substance. However, the state is not required to test enough individual cocaine rocks to prove the weight is sufficient for a trafficking conviction. Because rock cocaine more closely resembles pills than cocaine powder, the rule for testing rock cocaine is the same as that for testing commingled pills. Thus, random positive testing of one suspect cocaine rock mixed in a single packet containing other similar-looking rocks may be introduced as proof that the entire packet or bag contains rock cocaine.
Is Knowing there is Cocaine Around Enough?
The state must also prove the element of dominion and control where trafficking in cocaine is based on possession; for example, evidence of a person’s knowledge of the presence of contraband was sufficient to support a conviction of trafficking, despite the testimony of one police officer to the effect that the person had changed vehicles with another driver at some point prior to the traffic stop; the contraband was found in a bag within arm’s reach of the person, a noticeable odor was emanating from the bag, and the person made a spontaneous inculpatory statement at the police station. On the other hand, a person’s alleged possession of cocaine did not amount to actual possession, and thus the State had to prove constructive possession in a prosecution for trafficking in cocaine ; the cocaine was not within the person’s ready reach since the person was not even in the home when the police officers entered the home and discovered the cocaine.
When a person has been charged with attempted trafficking in cocaine , there is no need to prove that the person bought or sold 28 grams or more of cocaine , or even that the cocaine existed; it’s enough that the person intended to be a party to a transaction involving at least 28 grams of cocaine , and committed an overt act toward the completion of that offense.