Springfield law enforcement officers busted a massive marijuana operation, according to an article by The State Journal-Register. The perpetrators were using an abandoned warehouse in Springfield for marijuana trafficking.
Springfield law enforcement conducted surveillance on the abandoned warehouse since the summer, when they received a tip about illegal activities. After raiding the warehouse, law enforcement discovered approximately 950 marijuana plants and high-tech equipment for growing marijuana.
In busting up this marijuana trafficking ring, Springfield police charged two men with various criminal offenses. Both men face charges for manufacture and delivery and possession of marijuana as well as conspiracy. One man also faces criminal weapons charges. Both men are presently in Sangamon County Jail with bail set at $200,000 each.
Considering the impact of this current events story, a refresher course on Illinois laws and penalties for marijuana trafficking seems to be in order.
What is the Illinois Approach to Marijuana Trafficking?
As outlined in 720 ILCS 550/5, outside of certain medically approved exceptions, the manufacture, delivery, or sale of marijuana is illegal in Illinois. It is also illegal to posses a large amount of marijuana with the intention of manufacturing, delivering, or selling.
There is an important exception. If a person or business has valid credentials with the state of Illinois, then they are allowed to manufacture, deliver, and sell medical marijuana. There are stringent guidelines in place to regulate the medical marijuana industry in Illinois.
What are the Penalties for Marijuana Trafficking in Illinois?
As specified in 720 ILCS 550/5, Illinois employs a tiered structure for marijuana trafficking, with penalties increasing based on the quantity involved. Please find below a breakdown of the Illinois penalties for marijuana trafficking.
- Trafficking that involves less than 2.5 grams of marijuana constitutes a Class B misdemeanor.
- Trafficking that involves 2.5 grams to 10 grams of marijuana constitutes a Class A misdemeanor.
- Trafficking that involves 10 grams to 30 grams of marijuana constitutes a Class 4 felony.
- Trafficking that involves 30 grams to 500 grams of marijuana constitutes a Class 3 felony. A maximum fine of $50,000 may apply.
- Trafficking that involves 500 grams to 2,000 grams of marijuana constitutes a Class 2 felony. A maximum fine of $100,000 may apply.
- Trafficking that involves 2,000 grams to 5,000 grams of marijuana constitutes a Class 1 felony. A maximum fine of $150,000 may apply.
- Trafficking that involves more than 5,000 grams of marijuana constitutes a Class X felony. A maximum fine of $200,000 may apply.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.