Drug Trafficking Law and Legal Definition

Drug trafficking generally refers to the sale and distribution of illegal drugs. Penalties for federal drug trafficking convictions vary according to the quantity of the controlled substance involved in the transaction. A drug trafficking conviction may also lead to denial of federal benefits and forfeiture of personal property and real estate.

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, a "drug trafficking offense" as "an offense under federal, state, or local law that prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) or the possession of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute, or dispense." U.S.S.G. § 2L1.2(b)(1),