New York Penal Code § 220.77: Operating as a major trafficker

While selling a few ounces of cocaine or methamphetamine is a serious drug crime with severe consequences, selling massive quantities of drugs and making a substantial of amount of money doing so is a crime that could send you to prison for the rest of your life. To prove that you are a major drug trafficker under New York Penal Code § 220.77 the prosecutor must show the following:

  1. That you act as the director of a controlled substance organization for 12 months or less that sold controlled substances valued at $75,000, or more, or
  2. That you are a profiteer who sold within a 6 month period or less narcotics valued at $75,000 or more, or
  3. That you are a profiteer who within a 6 month period or less possessed with the intent to sell narcotics valued at $75,000 or more
Example

During an 18-month period a woman made approximately 35 trips from Oneonta to the Bronx to obtain heroin for a man. She transported 10-20 bundles of heroin back to Oneonta after each trip. The woman also acted as an intermediary for heroin buyers in Oneonta by calling the man on their behalf and then following his instructions as to where to meet his agents to complete the sale. 15 different people delivered heroin to her from the man during these transactions. She was paid in heroin. Based on information provided by the woman the man was arrested and charged with operating as a major trafficker. If the prosecutor can show that the amount of heroin that the woman delivered to the man in a 6 month period had a value of at least $75,000, the man will likely be convicted.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 220.21
  2. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 220.43
Defenses

One way to challenge a charge of operating as a major trafficker is to show that the amount of drugs involved had a value of less than $75,000. In addition, if the police seized drugs from you, you may be able to challenge the validity of the search. If the search and seizure was unlawful the prosecutor will not be able to use what was found during the search as evidence.

Sentence

Along with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, operating as a major trafficker is among the most serious crimes in the New York Penal Codes. It is a class A-1 felony. This means that if you are convicted you could receive a sentence of life in prison. The minimum sentence would be 15-40 years. You may also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $100,000.

New York Penal Code § 220.77: Operating as a major trafficker.

A person is guilty of operating as a major trafficker when:

  1. Such person acts as a director of a controlled substance organization during any period of twelve months or less, during which period such controlled substance organization sells one or more controlled substances, and the proceeds collected or due from such sale or sales have a total aggregate value of seventy-five thousand dollars or more; or

  2. As a profiteer, such person knowingly and unlawfully sells, on one or more occasions within six months or less, a narcotic drug, and the proceeds collected or due from such sale or sales have a total aggregate value of seventy-five thousand dollars or more.

  3. As a profiteer, such person knowingly and unlawfully possesses, on one or more occasions within six months or less, a narcotic drug with intent to sell the same, and such narcotic drugs have a total aggregate value of seventy-five thousand dollars or more.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are convicted of operating as a major trafficker, without doubt at a minimum you will spend several years in prison. However, just because you were charged with this crime does not mean that you will be convicted. There may be defenses that may result in the charges against you being dropped or reduced. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients who have been accused of drug possession, crack possession, cocaine possession, marijuana possession, drug selling, and other drug crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of drug crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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