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San Antonio Federal Drug Crimes Attorney

Federal drug charges are usually accompanied by complex, high-stakes cases run by tough federal prosecutors. Not just any attorney will suffice when it comes to cases for federal drug crimes — you need an attorney with experience defending serious offenses at the federal level. Criminal defense attorneys might cut it during a case for drug paraphernalia in Texas, but not for federal drug offenses like trafficking, manufacturing, et al.

Losing a federal drug case usually means significant time in prison and a very different life when — or if — you get out. If you or a loved one is under investigation for federal drug charges, you need a federal drug crimes attorney if you have any hope of protecting your freedom.

Donald Flanary is an experienced and aggressive drug crimes attorney who is not afraid to defend his clients in federal court. If you need an experienced federal attorney in San Antonio, you need Don Flanary.

Why are some drug cases federal?

Why are some drug cases federal and others handled by the state? Federal drug charges usually involve moving a large amount of a substance across state lines, but this is not always the case.

Although federal drug crimes are handled by federal agents from either the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), this does not mean that stops by local or state police won’t be used as evidence for federal charges.

Below are some of the more common federal drug charges.


Drug trafficking in Texas refers to the manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver an illegal drug. Drug trafficking is the most common federal drug crime by far — in fact, a study by the U.S. Department of Justice published in October of 2015, shows that 99.5% of drug offenders in federal prison were serving sentences for drug trafficking.

Cocaine (powder or crack cocaine, a Schedule II drug) was the primary drug type trafficked by more than half of drug offenders in federal prison, and nearly a quarter of drug offenders in federal prison used a weapon in their most recent offense.

Drug trafficking is a serious crime, a conviction for which will likely lead to years in prison. You only get one life, so do what you can to save it by calling a federal drug attorney like Donald Flanary who will make your freedom his business.


Because federal marijuana laws are anything but simple, marijuana cultivation can be charged as either a state or federal drug offense depending on a few circumstances:

  • The amount cultivated
  • Whether the sale and supply lines crossed state lines
  • Whether the operation was on federal land
  • Whether a federal officer’s involvement in the initial arrest
  • Whether there was use of a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigates and prosecutes drug trafficking and money laundering criminal conspiracies in the Western District of Texas and the San Antonio office. The task force works with federal, state, and local law enforcement agents to apply for and manage court-ordered electronic surveillance and wiretaps.

You can be busted for marijuana cultivation by local police, state police, the DEA, the FBI, or the OCDETF. People do still go to prison for marijuana — just because marijuana is legally sold in some states in the U.S., does not mean that it is legal to cultivate and traffic.

Other types of federal drug charges

Although this list is not exhaustive, some of the most commonly prosecuted drug crimes in Federal Court include:

  • 21 U.S.C. 841 for drug trafficking
  • 21 U.S.C. 844 for simple possession
  • 21 U.S.C. 846, 963 for attempt and conspiracy
  • 21 U.S.C. 841(f) for the distribution and possession of listed chemicals
  • 21 U.S.C. 841(b)(5) for cultivation on federal property
  • 21 U.S.C. 841(c) for drug offenses involving listed chemicals
  • 21 U.S.C. 841(g) for the internet sales of date rape drugs
  • 21 U.S.C. 841(h) for dispensing controlled substances that are prescription drugs by means of the internet
  • 21 U.S.C. 848 for continuing criminal enterprises (CCE)
  • 21 U.S.C. 854, 855 for investment of illicit drug profits
  • 21 U.S.C. 856 for establishing manufacturing operations
  • 21 U.S.C. 863 for trafficking in drug paraphernalia
  • 21 U.S.C. 1906 for financial transactions with designated foreign narcotics trafficker
  • 18 U.S.C. 924(c) for firearms and armor piercing ammunition in connection to drug trafficking crime
  • 18 U.S.C. 1956 for money laundering
  • 46 U.S.C. 70506 for maritime drug law enforcement

Federal drug laws provide for harsh penalties and minimum mandatory prison sentences for drug crimes. According to the study by the U.S. Department of Justice, although more than a third of drug offenders in federal prison at sentencing had either no or minimal criminal history, the average prison sentence for federal drug offenders was more than 11 years.

For more information on federal drug laws sentencing guidelines, see the complete list of federal mandatory minimum sentences and the full list of federal trafficking penalties.

Federal drug charge defenses: Entrapment

The entrapment defense is a common element in many federal drug cases. This defense is powerful because once it is raised, the government has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not entrapped. The government must prove that either:

  • The defendant was predisposed to commit the crime before being contacted by government agents (including an undercover law enforcement officer or confidential informant)
  • The defendant was not induced by the government agents to commit the crime

When a person, before government contact, is predisposed to commit the crime, it is not entrapment if the government agents merely provide an opportunity to commit the crime. When determining whether the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime before being approached by government agents, the following factors are considered:

  • Whether the defendant demonstrated reluctance to commit the offense
  • The defendant’s character and reputation
  • Whether government agents initially suggested the criminal activity
  • Whether the defendant engaged in criminal activity for profit
  • The nature of the government’s inducement or persuasion

When considering whether the defendant was induced by government agents to commit the offense, the courts look at whether the government agents created a substantial risk that an otherwise innocent person would commit an offense. That government conduct that can constitute entrapment can include:

  • Coercive tactics
  • Fraudulent representations
  • Threats
  • Pleas based on need
  • Harassment
  • Promises of reward
  • Sympathy
  • Friendship
  • Persuasion

Correctly executing an entrapment defense is just one way in which your federal attorney can help you seek justice.

How to beat federal drug charges: Hire the right federal drug crimes attorney

Nothing is guaranteed in a federal court, but the best thing that you can do for yourself is to hire the right attorney to fight your federal drug charges. If you or a loved one has been arrested or are being investigated for drug trafficking or other federal drug charges, call Donald Flanary today. He has experience representing clients charged with numerous drug trafficking and money laundering-related offenses in San Antonio.

Call Flanary Law Firm today at 210-880-3931  for a free case evaluation and consultation.

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Was really in a difficult situation Mr. Flannery and Amanda Hernandez came to the rescue, all my cases have been dropped/dismissed and I couldn’t be happier if you find yourself needing a lawyer I would definitely come back to them again.
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Amazing, Awesome, Seasoned, Professional, Highly Skilled and Caring. That’s what Don Flanary and his law firm associates are and more. I found the Flanary Law Firm while searching for legal help for my son. At the time my family was distraught …
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Without going into too much detail about what I was being accused of, my case was a life changing one. I was being accused of one of the worst things human being can be accused of. I did a ton of research on top attorneys in San Antonio and wha…
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My fiancé and I had never needed a lawyer before and we knew we needed someone with experience and who was familiar with our local courts. We interviewed with your typical overly-advertised law firms, but we didn’t feel like we were being take…

I highly recommend Donald H. Flanary to anyone who needs help with a legal matter. Mr. Flanary and his team worked hard on my behalf and achieved the best possible result in my case. His knowledge and ability within the courtroom are excellent,…
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If you are looking for an attorney, then look no further! Don and Amanda will fight for you and guide you through the process. Great office staff and assistants.
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