In America, when a person commits a crime, they are usually charged under state law and processed through the state’s criminal justice system. For some crimes, however, they may be charged under federal law instead.
Federal crimes are those that have been committed in violation of federal law. Prosecution for federal crimes follows different sentencing guidelines than our own North Carolina state sentencing guidelines, and any prison sentences will be served in federal prisons. Federal crimes are often investigated by federal agents, and often fall into the same general categories, such as internet sex crimes, drug crimes, mail fraud, tax fraud and gun possession in relation to a drug crime.
This may be the fate for one Raleigh man, who was recently charged with a number of drug and weapons related charges. The 29-year-old man was allegedly found in possession of approximately 2 pounds of marijuana and an undisclosed amount of the drug Ecstasy. Police say he was also found in possession of three firearms: two assault weapons and handgun. Authorities say all three of the weapons had been stolen.
The man was charged with possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a revoked license. A few days after his arrest, he was also charged with four counts of maintaining a place to keep or distribute drugs: One for a motel room that he allegedly used, one for the storage unit at which he was arrested and one for each of two vehicles.
In this case, the man may have been relatively lucky; there is no indication that he will be charged in the federal system. Many others facing similar charges, however, often are brought up on federal charges; sentences for these charges often carry long prison terms with little possibility for parole, especially if the defendant has prior convictions.
Source: Newsobserver, “Raleigh man charged with having 2 pounds of marijuana and stolen pistols and rifle” Ron Gallagher, Nov. 04, 2013