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How Serious Are Managing Drug Premises Charges?

 Posted on December 22,2021 in Criminal Defense

Knoxville Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen you own a business, there are a myriad of issues and responsibilities you need to keep abreast of in order to be successful. According to federal and state laws, that also includes making sure that no criminal activity is taking place at your business. Failure to do so could result in criminal charges being brought against you. This is what recently happened to one nightclub owner and two of his managers when they were all convicted by a federal jury of managing drug premises, conspiracy to manage drug premises, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine

Details of the Convictions

According to federal prosecutors, the owner ran several popular nightclubs. Prosecutors alleged in their case that one reason for that popularity was that the defendant allowed drug dealers to sell cocaine in the bathrooms of the clubs, resulting in an increase in the clubs’ revenue of between $9 to $12 million. The jury was told that because the owner knew what was going on but continued to allow it because he was profiting by the increased business at his clubs, he was guilty of managing drug premises, along with the other charges. The jury agreed.

Part of the evidence federal prosecutors presented in the case included 17 controlled drug buys at several of the clubs of informants – who were all under the supervision of the FBI – purchasing bags of cocaine from drug dealers who were selling the drugs out of club bathrooms.

The convictions on these three federal charges mean each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in federal prison.

Managing a Drug Premise Charge

Under federal law 21 U.S. Code § 856, it is against the law to operate, lease, rent, maintain, or use a location knowing that it is being used to manufacture, sell, or use a controlled substance. It is also illegal to profit from such activity.

The nightclub owner is one example of how these charges can occur. Another example is a landlord who has rented to tenants who are selling drugs out of their apartment or home. If the landlord is accused of knowing this is taking place and they are convicted, he or she faces harsh penalties.

Under the law, a person found guilty of managing a drug premise charge can be sentenced up to 20 years in prison and fined up to $500,000. If the owner of the premises is a business entity and not an individual, that entity can be fined up to $2 million.

Contact a Knox County Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of a federal drug crime, these are serious charges and require the legal defense of a skilled and seasoned Knoxville, TX drug crimes lawyer. Call Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney at 865-281-1000 to find out how our firm can help.


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