Reportedly by using furniture trucks, five people have been charged with trafficking more than two tons of marijuana to Concord. The five were linked by investigators to a Mexican drug ring. The co-conspirators used warehouses at the final destination for the drugs to complete the mass shipping of weed up I-85, just north of Charlotte.
All five adults are being held on $1 million bond each in Cabarrus County. If the initial reports are correct, more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana were trafficked by the ring.
If convicted of trafficking two tons of marijuana, each member of the five-person drug ring faces punishment as a Class F felon, meaning a minimum of 70 months in state prison. The maximum penalty is 93 months, unless other aggravating factors exist that would warrant a higher sentence, such as the possession of a weapon while transporting drugs or a prior criminal history, and at least a $50,000 fine.
The only way to escape mandatory minimum sentences in drug trafficking cases is by providing substantial assistance to authorities in apprehending others involved in drug crimes. If you have already been sentenced for another crime, any sentence for drug trafficking must run consecutively with an existing sentence, rather than concurrently.
Involvement in a conspiracy to traffick drugs is punishable at the same level as the actual offense of trafficking controlled substances. An attempt to traffick drugs, however, is punishable according to North Carolina's standard felony sentencing guidelines, rather than the mandatory minimums applied to drug trafficking charges.
Source: WSOCTV, "Police: 5 charged with shipping more than 2 tons of pot to Concord," May 30, 2013