Eight suspects are facing indictments for smuggling drugs into Wilson County jail before they were scheduled to be incarcerated. According to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, the suspects knew they were going to serve time, and attempted to smuggle prescription drugs, marijuana and cocaine into the facility.
Department spokeswoman Sharon Curstis-Flair said, “In some cases, we received information they were going to be trying to carrying [sic] contraband inside, and in other cases, we detected the illegal contraband through efficient search techniques.” The suspects were apparently smuggling the drugs for their own personal use and not to sell inside the facility.
Under the United States Controlled Substances Act, drugs are classified into Schedules depending on their perceived danger. Schedule I substances are considered most addictive and Schedule V the least. Tennessee divides felony crimes in three classes. Class A is the most severe, followed by Class B and C. Class C felonies are punishable by 8 to 30 years in prison, and can carry a fine up to $25,000.
According to Tennessee criminal law, introducing contraband into a penal institution is a Class C felony. To be guilty of these charges, the suspect must have:
- Brought or caused to be brought any controlled substance into a penal institution
- Acted knowingly and unlawfully
- Possessed any controlled substance while present in a penal institution
- Acted without written consent from a chief administrator
- Acted intentionally throughout the above points
While these conditions are set forth in Tennessee’s code, there are always mitigating circumstances. Possession can mean anything from having a substance physically near you to having knowledge that events are occurring. Your rights depend on your circumstances.
Smuggling drugs, or merely possessing them, is a crime that Tennessee takes seriously. The penalties are stiff and severe, and can be devastating if you do not have the proper representation. However, circumstances vary widely, and good representation can change the outcome of your case.
The Franklin criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates have years of experience defending criminal cases. We work with you to determine the best course of action and minimize the impact to you and your loved ones. If you or someone you know is facing a drug conviction, please contact us today for a free consultation.