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What is Drug Trafficking according to NRS?


If you are not aware yet, drugs are a major problem in Nevada particularly in its most vibrant areas like Las Vegas. In fact, Nevada is a consistent ranker as one of the top states with most overdoses caused by drugs. In 2015, Nevada is the fourth state with the most deaths due to drug overdose while in 2016, there are estimated 408 deaths related to opioid use. Today, while there is an obvious curb of drug use thanks to stricter Nevada drug trafficking laws, illegal substances still continue to plague the state.

These problems can be rooted to drug trafficking. People would not overdose without people manufacturing, transporting, and selling drugs. What is drug trafficking? In this article, we will look at how the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) define drug trafficking, how it can affect a person, and the penalties that underlie it.

Nevada Revised Statutes’ Definition

According to the NRS, drug trafficking is the act of producing, selling, and delivering illegal substances in large quantities with the person’s full knowledge in the state of Nevada.

There is a difference between being arrested for drug trafficking and drug selling. You can be arrested for drug trafficking even if you are not transporting or manufacturing, as long as the drugs are within the prohibited Schedule and quantity. If you are however caught holding on drugs for selling but without prohibited grounds then you will be only charged with drug selling. Drug trafficking penalties are usually for big time drug dealers as evident on the quantity and quality of the drugs needed to be considered as harmful to the society.

Drug Schedules defined by NRS

The Nevada drug trafficking laws found in the NRS are keen in the types of drugs and the measurement that are involved in drug trafficking. You could face really grave consequences if you are discovered with drugs that are under certain Schedules and within a particular metric system.

Here are the drugs that are illegal in Nevada as classified under their probability of being abused. Schedule I has drugs that are most likely to be exploited while drugs under Schedule V are the least likely to be abused due to their use for medical purposes and the difficulty to get hold of them.

Schedule I

  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • PCP
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • GHB
  • Mescaline
  • Peyote

Schedule II

  • Cocaine
  • Opium
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Methadone
  • Methylphenidate or Ritalin
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone

Schedule III

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Ketamine
  • Testosterone

Schedule IV

  • Xanax
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Valium
  • Ambien
  • Sedatives
  • Tranquilizers

Schedule V

  • Substances containing very small amounts of other drugs. Examples are cough suppressants and anti-diarrhea medications.

Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug even though marijuana is legal for medical use in Nevada. It can only count as an illegal substance used in trafficking if it is being manufactured, transported, and sold for 50 pounds or more.

Flunitrazepam and gamma-hydroxybutyrate which are more commonly known as rape drugs and club drugs, respectively, are not under any Schedule but still illegal if trafficked for more than 4 grams.

Drug Trafficking Penalties according to NRS

If you are a first time offender of drug trafficking in Nevada, know that the Nevada’s drug trafficking laws will not go easy on you as most first offenses already means category B felony.

Below are the drug trafficking penalties one must endure if caught in the act.

For flunitrazepam, gamma-hydroxybutyrate, and Schedule I substances, 4 grams or more but less than 14 grams means:

  • Category B felony charge
  • Less than 1 year to 6 years of imprisonment in the state prison
  • Fine of not more than $50,000

If the amount is 14 grams or more but less than 28 grams, the charges are:

  • Category B felony charge
  • Less than 2 years to 15 years maximum of imprisonment in the state prison
  • Fine of $100,000

For 28 grams or more:

  • Category A felony
  • Life imprisonment with possibility of parole
  • Fine of at least $500,000

If discovered trafficking Schedule II substances of 28 grams but less than 200 grams, the charges are the following:

  • Category C felony
  • Fine of $50,000

If 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams, the penalties include:

  • Category B felony
  • Not less than 2 years to 10 years of imprisonment in the state prison
  • Fine of not more than $100,000

When the substance is 400 grams or more, a Category A felony is at order coupled with other penalties such as:

  • Life imprisonment in the state prison with possibility of parole
  • Fine of at least $250,000

Penalties for trafficking drugs of Schedules III to V remain absent as there are few instances of them. To learn more about drug trafficking penalties and other info about Nevada’s drug trafficking laws as stated in the Nevada Revised Statutes, you can read the Chapter 453.3385 of the NRS here.

Drug trafficking are rife not just in Nevada but the entire world. It is not an easy thing to combat as most organizations that do drug trafficking are resilient and are experts in anonymity. However, we can start with small time drug operations and this is what Nevada is doing as the State believes they are breadcrumbs to even bigger drug setups.

When staying in Las Vegas or any other places in Nevada, you should always keep in mind that you can get entangled in a drug violation. Suddenly, you find yourself carrying drugs that are not yours and you realized you are tricked into transporting it. To avoid being a first time offender of drug trafficking, better arm yourself with knowledge about what drug trafficking is. If ultimately accused, have a drug defense lawyer by your side.

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