Drug Distribution Goes Viral: Online Sites Like Craigslist Being Used to Sell Prescription Meds
As technology becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives, well-intentioned people out to make some quick money have taken to getting rid of leftover prescription medications by selling them online. New York has seen a spate of arrests from an 11-month investigation code-named "Operation dot com" that saw undercover officers and informants purchase nearly $20,000 worth of prescription pain, anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder and erectile dysfunction drugs.
Some see the sale of a handful of unused pills online as a "victimless" crime, but law enforcement, medical and legal experts vehemently disagree, instead seeing these as serious drug crimes. To back up their position, officials point to a host of potential issues that can arise when people procure prescription drugs without seeing a physician first, including:
- Serious - possibly fatal - side effects like allergic reactions, depressed breathing, dangerously low blood pressure
- Expired drugs that don't have the same potency as expected (which can be a huge problem if the drugs are being used for a serious health condition)
- Product tampering
- Accidental overdose
Given what modern science now knows about the dangers associated with prescription drug abuse, it is no wonder that the distribution of controlled medicines is strictly regulated. The same dangers also explain why law enforcement is so aggressive in looking for even low-level sellers of prescribed narcotic medications. Those found in possession of non-prescribed medications - particularly those in a quantity that would indicate the intent to distribute them - face serious criminal penalties.
For example, many New York drug possession and sale charges are treated as felonies, and could come with a host of severe consequences, including:
- A permanent criminal history
- Lengthy jail terms
- Hefty fines
- Mandatory substance abuse education
Regardless of what type of drug possession or distribution charge you are facing, having an attorney at your side can make things easier. Speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your area to learn more about mounting an aggressive defense that protects your Constitutional rights and works to minimize the consequences you face.