There’s an old adage that says crime doesn’t pay, but plenty of people see big dollar signs for breaking the law and thinking they’re going to get away with it. How would anyone know they’re transporting any illegal substances in an 18-wheeler? Or so one Oregon truck driver thought before being pulled over in Idaho and was caught transporting 7,000 pounds of hemp in a truck he didn’t own. His route was from his employer’s company, based in Oregon where hemp is legal, to Colorado, where the substance is also legal; however, any marijuana or hemp containing any percentage of THC, the chemical that produces the high feeling, is strictly illegal in Idaho.
The truck driver was charged with felony interstate trafficking charges when he was pulled over but settled and plead guilty to a lesser misdemeanor of improperly logging his trucking cargo. For more ambitious criminal truck drivers, smuggling drugs and illegal items and substances is as easy as hiding it far back in their truck, or mixed in with other products. Just by being careful enough and driving safely as if nothing was wrong, they can complete their run without anyone being the wiser. However, police and state troopers are well aware of smuggling and trafficking efforts and successfully bust drug rings often.
Theoretically, the truck driver could never know that they were transporting illegal goods or drugs; their employer could have packed them into their truck and had their driver cruise along as if it were a regular delivery. Were this to happen, the first move would be to hire a lawyer to guarantee the driver’s rights were preserved and to establish their defense, rather than them taking the fall for a crime they knew nothing about, nor that they had any knowledge they were committing.
The driver, after pleading guilty to the lesser charge, will need to pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs and faced serving 180 days in jail. 175 days were suspended from his sentence and was ruled that he served 5 days while going through the legal process. Had the driver been charged with the felony of transporting drugs across state lines, he would have faced years in prison (the time would be determined by the judge based on the substance and previous criminal record of the driver).
If you are anyone you know is facing drug transportation charges, immediately contact a lawyer to guide you through the legal process, the charges you face, and to establish your defense. Call us today or visit our offices to discuss the details of your case.