Interviewer: What is the law concerning sending drugs or controlled substances through the mail? What do they call it and what are the penalties?
William Kroger: It depends on what kind of drug there is. If it's just a marijuana and it's gone from California to New York or something like that and you get caught with it, there's a good chance that the case will be dropped if you have hired a good synthetic drug lawyer in Los Angeles. Let's say you got a package on the FedEx and you hand this to the person at the counter. The person at the counter takes it, then he throws it in the back and the person in the back room puts it on some shelf. Then the guy comes from the truck, loads from the backroom to his truck and then the guy in the truck drives to the storing center where someone else unloads the package and it goes on the conveyor belt.
The Chain of Custody is An Important Issue In the Defense of a Drug Trafficking By Mail Case
Somebody in the storing center puts it in where it's supposed to go, if it's supposed to go to Tennessee, it goes in the Tennessee pile. From there, it gets loaded on to a truck, taken to the airport, offloaded onto the plane and then the whole process starts over again from where it landed. So, the chain of custody is the issue that we argue a lot. How do we know the FedEx didn't tamper with the box? So, that seems to work quite a bit because we got 10 or 15 different hands touching it and they can't prove that they didn't add something or take something out of it.
People Generally Avoid Mail Shipments During The Holidays For Fear Of Cargo Being Stolen or Misplaced
That's why it's ironic but most clients who deal with sending packages in the mail refuse to send anything around the holiday season because you get a lot of temporary employees working at FedEx and UPS and they are more likely to steal something from a package than as someone who's got a fulltime job there and is trying to work for these benefits. So, a lot of people won't ship over the holidays which is kind of odd but yes but if you think about it, it make sense.
Drug Trafficking by Mail Would be Charged as a Broad Conspiracy to Distribute
Interviewer: If someone's going to be prosecuted though, what is the law called that they would — is it mail fraud or what do they call it?
William Kroger: It would be a broad conspiracy. It's typically in the federal government. We've got to do it a lot of times and we've got to find a lot of weight and then just charge them with conspiracy to distribute controlled substance. In State Court, it would be transportation or sales of a controlled substance; under the California Health & Safety Code, depending on what drug, 11360, 11378, 11351. It all depends on what kind of drug it is.
Crimes Committed Using the Internet are Commonly Charged As Cyber-Crimes
Interviewer: What about if we use the internet to commit a crime or computer as electronic networks, is there anything specific that addresses that?
William Kroger: Yes. There is cyber-crime. There is a whole branch of the DEA and the FBI devoted for cyber-crimes along with IRS. They all deal with cyber- crimes, they deal with drugs, they deal with money, and they deal with anything illegal through the computers.
Bitcoins are a Valuable Commodity and Should Not be Associated With Criminal Activities
Interviewer: Do you advise people not even to get involved in using Bitcoins at all because it's associated with only illegal activities or is that not a problem?
William Kroger: No. As far as Bitcoins are concerned, they are a very valuable commodity. The use of Bitcoins in the sales of drugs is vastly outweighed by its normal usage in everyday good. There's hundreds of websites that take Bitcoins now. There are large department stores where you can buy tickets to go see a Lakers Game or Clippers game. There are a lot of uses for Bitcoins and Bitcoins are being made more and more legitimate as time goes. You can use them to buy illegal drugs from the internet but Bitcoins can be used for everything else. That's why there are big companies involved with Bitcoins: many large financial institutions on Wall Street have stakes in Bitcoins.