Drug Kingpin Law and Legal Definition

A drug kingpin is a person who controls a network of persons involved in the illegal drugs trade and transactions. Often it is difficult to prosecute a drug kingpin because a kingpin might never be directly in possession of something illegal. They are insulated from the actual trade in drugs by several layers of underlings. The prosecution of drug kingpins is therefore usually the result of carefully planned infiltrations of their networks, often using informants from within the organization.

A drug kingpin is also known as drug lord or drug baron.

The following is an example of a state statute (Maryland) defining the term:

Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. § 5-613. Drug kingpin

(a) "Drug kingpin" defined. -- In this section, "drug kingpin" means an organizer, supervisor, financier, or manager who acts as a coconspirator in a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, dispense, transport in, or bring into the State a controlled dangerous substance.