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National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Tennessee Bar Association
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Knox County Man’s Drug Conviction Increased Due to Gang Ties

March 31, 2015

A grand jury recently convicted a 35-year-old Knox County man of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The conviction comes just after the creation of the Career Gang Unit of the Attorney General’s office, which specializes in gang-related cases like these.

The penalties for a possession with intent to distribute charge can be serious and life-altering; however, the man had also admitted to being a member of the “Vice Lords” gang in a previous trial several years ago. It is suspected that the current charge is related to similar gang activity, and although the man has not yet been sentenced for the current charge, the alleged gang affiliation enhances the offense to a Class A Felony, which can result in a prison sentence of anywhere between 15 and 60 years.

A single charge of intent to distribute can garner up to 40 years in jail and up to $50,000 in fines in the state of Tennessee. When aggravating circumstances are taken into consideration, such as gang-related activity, the sentence can become greatly increased. In this situation, not only do prior convictions play a big role (the 35-year-old is currently serving a 23-year sentence for a similar conviction in 2012), but gang affiliations will contribute to the sentencing as well.

It is important to understand that a moderate sentence can quickly snowball, leading to lifelong consequences if additional offenses are suspected. If you’re in a situation where you’re facing a potentially lengthy prison sentence, you should find effective legal representation that will fight hard on your behalf. With Baker Associates on your side, we will do the work necessary to get you the best results possible. Call us today for a confidential consultation.