Police in Cheltenham Seize 17 Pounds of Marijuana Mailed Through U.S. Postal Service
The U.S. Postal Service is in dire need of more mail to deliver, but it still draws the line at trafficking in illegal drugs. According to Philly.com, agents from the USPS notified the Cheltenham Police on Friday that a package delivery to the Towers at a Wyncote apartment complex contained a large quantity of drugs. Drug sniffing dogs and a cadre of local police officers arrested 31-year-old Lawrence Rowe Graham after he allegedly arrived to claim the package. Authorities charged him with possession with intent to deliver and multiple other offenses related to the illegal pickup. He is currently in police custody in lieu of $250,000 bail.
After drug-sniffing dogs identified illegal substances inside the package, officers opened it. They reportedly discovered about 17 pounds of marijuana. Police identified the drugs as “high grade” with an estimated street value of around $150,000, according to Philly.com.
Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Offenses
Possession of illegal drugs with intent to deliver is a felony in Pennsylvania. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the state could mean those charged an indicted on such an offense could face prison sentences of at least three to six years. According to current statutes, an arrest for the intent to distribute 17 pounds of marijuana carries a mandatory minimum of four years in state prison.
The years spent in prison are on top of all the other punishments that can come from a drug conviction, including seizure of bank accounts, loss of professional licenses, fines, and suspension of driving privileges.
In the case that allegedly involves Lawrence Rowe Graham, utilizing the U.S. Postal Service for drug trafficking purposes may draw federal charges, which could only serve to increase the penalties and lead to more years behind bars. Sentencing matters in federal court are much more complicated than those of state court.
Drug-Related Offenses in Philadelphia 2012
The Bureau of Narcotics Investigation reported more than 12,000 separate instances of drug violations in Philadelphia County for 2012. According to the state of Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Narcotics ‘solved’ 97.69 percent of offenses during that year. Narcotics crimes were the third-leading criminal category behind property offenses and assaults. By comparison, authorities in Philadelphia only solved 14 percent of the more than 80,000 property offenses that occurred in 2012.
Importance of Legal Counsel in Drug Arrests
Knowing your rights can mean the difference between a conviction that causes you to forfeit years of your life in prison, and living your life amongst the rest of society. Having experience criminal defense attorneys behind you can help alleviate the undying stress of the criminal prosecution process, and provide your case with a better chance of seeing a positive outcome in your favor.
Although marijuana is becoming decriminalized in Philadelphia, our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys in Philadelphia County have handled thousands of narcotics and other drug-related cases. Contact our firm today for your consultation. We have two former prosecutors on our legal team who aren’t afraid to fight for your rights. Get the peace of mind you so desperately need during this difficult time in your life