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Pennsylvania Is Ramping Up Its Fight Against Drug Crimes Committed By Gang Members

Has someone you love been swept up in the newest dragnet of the war on drugs? The hue-and-cry for drug traffickers and gang members is increasing, and our state officials and law enforcement officers feel compelled to sate the public demand with tough action, meaning more arrests and longer sentences.

The State of Pennsylvania just dedicated $2.5 million to create a new Mobile Street Crimes Unit designed to fight drug crimes committed by gang members.  The Unit assists local law enforcement agencies, whose previously limited resources will now be enhanced by those of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation & Drug Control, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police departments. The announcement was made the same day that 16 alleged gang members were charged with drug crimes related to a cocaine-trafficking route from Mexico.

The State is not only investing in the enforcement of drug laws, it is also ramping up sentencing guidelines for drug crimes committed by gang members.

The proposed sentencing enhancement for gang-related drug crimes

On June 6, 2013, the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing adopted an amendment to the sentencing guidelines used by judges which provides harsher penalties for anyone convicted of drug dealing in association with a criminal gang.

Specifically, a conviction for drug-possession with the intent to deliver while in association with a criminal gang would result in an enhanced penalty of an additional year in prison, unless the Pennsylvania General Assembly rejects the proposed amendments. Otherwise, this and other sentence enhancements become effective on September 27, 2013.

If you or one of your loved ones is charged with the Criminal Gang Enhancement, the arcane intricacies of Pennsylvania’s criminal sentencing laws demand a skilled criminal practitioner on your side to lessen these harsher sentences. The assistance of an experienced Berks County criminal defense attorney can make a great difference in the outcome you face.

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