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Federal Drug Importation

A substantial amount of drugs seized every year are at the border.  The number of ways drugs enter the United States is limitless.  South Florida has been a drug importation hotspot for many years.  It is very easy to see why South Florida is a drug smugglers paradise with its many harbors, ports, small airports and etc as well as its close proximity to Central and South America as well as the islands.  Anybody who has ever seen movies like Scarface or Cocaine Cowboys knows that South Florida will always be known as a drug smuggling area.

Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 952:

  • It is a crime under section 952(a) for a person to import into the United States any controlled substance in schedule I or II, or any narcotic drug in schedules III, IV, or V. 21 U.S.C. sect; 952(a)

  • It is a crime under section 952(b) for a person to import into the United States any nonnarcotic controlled substance found in schedules III, IV, or V.

Importation of drugs is a strictly a federal offense because only the federal government has jurisdiction to prosecute someone bringing illegal drugs into the country from outside the boarder.  Drug importation is regulated by 21 U.S.C. 952.  To be convicted of importation the prosecution must prove that the substance that is entering the county is an illegal and banned drug and that it crossed the boundary of the United States to enter the country.


Penalties for violating 21 USC 952 are controlled by 21 USC 960(b).  The penalties for violating federal drug importation laws depend in part on many factors such as the drug involved, the quantities seized, whether use of the drug caused serious bodily injury or death, and whether the person charged has prior drug-related convictions.

For more information on Federal Drug Importation charges call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney David J. Sobel directly at 954-383-3000.