Complex Drug Conspiracy Investigation Cases

A conspiracy is a complex crime. The common denominator of criminal conspiracies comprises agreements to commit a crime or crimes and involves performing at least one Overt Act by one or more Conspirators in furtherance of the conspiracy.

As it relates to Drug Trafficking Conspiracies, the Federal Conspiracy Statute language for 21 U.S.C. § 846 states, “Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this subchapter [referring to Subchapter I of 21 U.S.C. Food and Drugs] shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy”. According to the United States Department of Justice, “Section 846 of Title 21 prohibits conspiracies and attempts to violate any substantive offense established by Subchapter I of Title 21 (“Control and Enforcement”)—in other words, Section 846 makes it a crime to conspire to violate or attempt to violate any substantive offense [principally related to Federal Drug Trafficking Crimes] set forth in 21 U.S.C. §§ 801-904”

The common elements of Conspiracy comprise:

(1)  An Agreement;

(2)  Between two or more people;

(3)  That is entered into for the purpose of committing a crime; and

(4)  An overt act is made in furtherance of the conspiracy.4

HOWEVER, although the essence of Federal Drug Trafficking Conspiracy is an agreement of two or more persons to engage in some form of prohibited drug related conduct, Title 21 U.S. Code Section 846 and the United States Supreme Court do not require prosecutors to show that at least one of the conspirators has taken some concrete step or committed some Overt Act in furtherance of the conspiracy and therefore, the crime of conspiracy is complete simply upon agreement (United States v. Shabani, 513 U.S. 10, 13-4 (1994) (21 U.S.C. § 846 (conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act) no overt act requirement) .

As such, a person can easily become entangled, arrested, and charged in a complex Federal Drug Trafficking Conspiracy involving large numbers of Conspirators through simple agreement to commit a drug-related crime with at least one of the Conspirators during the time frame of the Conspiracy since an Overt Act is not required to be charged in a Federal Drug Trafficking Conspiracy under 21 U.S.C. § 846.

Therefore, individuals that are charged in a Federal Drug Trafficking Conspiracy should obtain the service of an Expert (with extensive experience and expertise in complex Federal Drug Trafficking Conspiracies) that will navigate through the evidence to determine whether or not an agreement truly exists in the conspiracy relative to the client as well as to analyze all other aspects of the case against the client to include existence of Suppression Issues, Exculpatory Evidence, Misrepresentations, False Statements, Material Omissions, and Erroneous and Misleading Investigative Conclusions.

Since 2009, Kendal Johnson has been appointed by Federal Courts and/or hired privately in over 170 Drug Trafficking Investigation Cases which predominantly composed of Complex Federal Drug Trafficking Conspiracies and/or Criminal Enterprise Investigations that were comprehensively analyzed and researched and Expert Witness Reports of Findings and/or Consultant Reports of Findings were prepared by Kendal Johnson for attorney and attorney firm clients.

As a DEA Special Agent, Kendal Johnson, as lead Case Agent, was involved in a vast number of Highly-Complex and Wide-Ranging International and Domestic Drug Trafficking Conspiracies involving substantial quantities of drugs, significantly high numbers of Defendants and Drug Trafficking Organizations, and Money Laundering Groups.

4According to US, “An overt act, in the context of criminal law, is an action which might be innocent itself but if part of the preparation and active furtherance of a crime, can be introduced as evidence of a defendant’s participation in a crime. Although the mere contemplation or intention to commit a crime is insufficient to convict a person of a criminal attempt, conspiracy or treason, a manifestation of such an intent by an overt act is sufficient.”  In other words, an Overt Act is a deliberate act to further a crime or conspiracy to commit a crime.