A traffic stop near Interstate 40 in Oklahoma City last week led to the discovery of 188 pounds of marijuana. Police arrested Sheridan Ford Shepherd, 51, of California, after finding 165 bundles of marijuana in his vehicle during a traffic stop at Meridian and W. Reno, two blocks from I-40. Shepherd was transported to the Oklahoma City jail on a drug trafficking complaint, with bail set at $40,000.
While Oklahoma law does not prescribe an amount of drugs necessary to elevate a possession charge to a distribution charge, the Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act does determine quantities for drug trafficking charges. For marijuana, that amount is 25 pounds. Shepherd is accused of transporting 7-1/2 times that amount.
The Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act, a section of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, is found in 63 O.S. § 2-415 of the Oklahoma Public Health and Safety Code.
The Act pertains to specific controlled substances: marijuana; cocaine or coca leaves; heroin; amphetamine or methamphetamine; LSD; PCP; cocaine base (crack or rock); MDMA (ecstasy).
If these drugs are possessed, distributed, manufactured, or brought into the state in specified quantities, the person or persons involved will be charged with drug trafficking or aggravated trafficking under the provisions of the Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act.
The quantities of drugs which trigger a trafficking charge are as follows:
It is important to note that the weights above are not the actual weight of the pure drug itself; rather, the charges are based on the weight of any substance or mixture containing a detectable amount of the illegal drug.
Penalties for drug trafficking, even as a first offense, include the possibility of life in prison and a fine ranging from $25,000 to $500,000.
Travelling through Oklahoma is a risky proposition if you have drugs in your possession. The intersection of I-40 and I-44 in Oklahoma City makes the region part of one of the eight main drug corridors identified by the National Drug Intelligence Center. In an attempt to crack down on drug trafficking, law enforcement in Oklahoma City and along I-40 and I-44 across the state ramp their highway interdiction efforts and make a number of traffic stops looking for illegal drugs.
If you have been arrested for drug trafficking in Oklahoma, there are a number of viable options for your defense, including illegal stop and illegal search and seizure. Click here to learn more.
- Marijuana - 25 pounds or more; aggravated trafficking at 1,000 pounds or more
- Cocaine - 28 grams or more; enhanced penalties for 300 grams or more; aggravated trafficking at 450 grams or more
- Heroine - 10 grams or more; enhanced penalties for 28 grams or more
- Amphetamine or methamphetamine - 20 grams or more; enhanced penalties for 200 grams or more; aggravated trafficking at 450 grams or more
- LSD - 1 gram or more; enhanced penalties for 10 grams or more
- PCP - 20 grams or more; enhanced penalties for 150 grams or more
- Cocaine Base - 5 grams or more; enhanced penalties for 50 grams or more
- MDMA - 10 grams or 30 tablets; enhanced penalties for 30 grams or 100 tablets