A 19-year-old man in Washington is facing charges for drug possession and for possession with intent to distribute after being arrested with 6,000 Xanax pills at his residence in Puyallup, Washington.
19 Year Old Arrested in Possession of Thousands of Pills
Reports are still sketchy, in large part because the suspect is under the age of 21 and because the arrest was just one part of a larger investigation that is still ongoing.
What is known, though, is that a 19 year old in Puyallup was arrested while in possession of approximately 6,000 pills of Xanax by a drug task force on February 14, 2019. The task force includes law enforcement from numerous counties in the Seattle area, indicating the scope of the investigation.
Tipped off by the U.S. Postal Service that the address had been sending and receiving copious amounts of pills, police obtained a search warrant and executed it on Valentine's Day. Inside the house, they found around 6,000 Xanax pills worth nearly $60,000 on the street and arrested the suspect.
Charges now include both drug possession and possession with an intent to distribute, each of which can carry severe penalties.
Xanax is a Controlled Substance
Xanax is the brand name for the drug Alprazolam, a prescription sedative that is meant for people who suffer from panic attacks or anxiety. Because Xanax can be abused, it requires a doctor's prescription in order for someone to have it. Therefore, it is a controlled substance and is listed as a Schedule IV drug in the Uniform Controlled Substance Act (VUCSA).
Penalties for Possession of Xanax
Simply possessing Xanax without a valid prescription is a VUCSA crime that can lead to serious penalties if effective legal defenses are not raised. Drug possession for any type of controlled substance, including Schedule IV substances like Xanax, is a Class C felony. Convictions for Class C felonies come with up to five years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
Enhanced Penalties for Possession of Large Quantities
Possession with an intent to distribute drugs is another serious offense that comes with more sanctions. Importantly, police do not have to catch a suspect in the act of selling or distributing drugs in order to pursue a charge of possession with intent to distribute – they can infer that a suspect intended to sell drugs if they were caught in possession of a large amount of them. The idea behind the assumption is that people who only possess drugs for their personal use will not have excessive amounts under their control.
VUCSA Defense Lawyer Steve Karimi Serves the Seattle Area
Drug charges are not convictions, though: Law enforcement and prosecutors still need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their accusations are true. Effective legal defenses can be raised that can throw doubt on those accusations and prove a suspect's innocence.