Most federal drug offenses are found in Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 801 et seq. Section 841 prohibits the knowing or intentional manufacture, distribution, or dispensation of federally defined controlled substances. The statute also makes it illegal to possess with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense dispense a controlled substances. Counterfeit substances are are equally prohibited. A defendant’s potential sentence is impacted by the quantity of the drug at issue.
Possession and possession with the intent to distribute crimes are frequently prosecuted. Possession simply means that the person actually possessed the drug on his or her person or had “constructive possession” of the substance. Constructive possession has been described as the person having “dominion over the premises in which the contraband is concealed.”
Distribution means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer of the controlled substance, and has three basic elements: (1) the defendant transferred the controlled substance to another person; the defendant knew that when he or she transferred was a controlled substance; and (3) the defendant acted intentionally in transferring the controlled substance.
A federal drug conspiracy is frequently charged simultaneously with a possession and/or distribution offense. A conspiracy is an agreement between at least two people to commit a federal drug offense. The defendant just has to have knowledge of the agreement and voluntarily participate in the conspiracy.