It's a fact of American law that drug cases can involve some truly incredible numbers. State and federal laws treat drug crimes very seriously, and so the punishments for them can be very severe. Even small amounts of drugs can result in double-digit prison terms, and the punishments associated with multiple charges can quickly stack up.
Take, for example, two cases of alleged drug trafficking that were recently uncovered in Raleigh, North Carolina. In the first case, two men and a woman were arrested for drug crimes following their arrest at a Casona Way townhouse. Though the amount of drugs discovered there was relatively small - just over one ounce of heroin - the three were swiftly charged with drug trafficking. They were sent to jail in lieu of a truly astronomical bail - $1.5 million, $1 million and $500,000. The three were also charged with maintaining a house as a place to keep drugs.
Seven-digit bails for drug crimes are not altogether uncommon, though they are somewhat troubling. Bails at that amount are essentially a prison sentence unto themselves, as very few people could possibly post a million dollar bail. In a sense, these three are already serving time, although they have not been convicted of a crime.
Another Raleigh arrest resulted in a similar situation. A 34-year-old man was given the same charges - drug trafficking and maintaining a residence to sell drugs - following his recent arrest. The man was discovered with over 400 grams of cocaine. This amount of drugs qualifies him for the state's most serious drug trafficking charge, which carries a minimum sentence of over 14 years in prison. The man's bail was also set at $1 million.
Source: The News Observer, "Four face Raleigh drug-trafficking charges in cases involving heroin, cocaine" No Author Given, Oct. 14, 2013