Drug Crimes Charges: Man Sentenced for Federal Marijuana Felony

A Minnesota man was convicted of federal marijuana felony drug crimes even though the State of Minnesota has essentially decriminalized possessing small amounts of marijuana by statute stating that possession of a small amount of marijuana is a petty misdemeanor offense, so long as it is not in a motor vehicle. Small amounts of marijuana are defined, by statute, as under 42.5 grams or less, which is roughly an ounce and a half or less of marijuana. Petty misdemeanor offenses do not carry the possibility of any jail time.

However, quantities of marijuana over 42.5 grams still carry penalties under State law. Under State law, charges for large quantities of marijuana can rise up to the felony level. Depending on the amount of marijuana possessed, residents of Minnesota can also face Federal prosecution. Recently, a Farmington man faced federal prosecution for marijuana charges.

In Federal Court in St. Paul, David Minh Phan was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. Phan received the same sentence as his co-defendant, Quy Trong Nguyen.

As part of their plea agreement, Phan and Nguyen admitted to growing and harvesting marijuana plants on the Elk River Township in central Minnesota. After Phan and Nguyen were arrested last October, 443 marijuana plants and $27,000 in cash were seized from the property.

At sentencing, Phan argued that he began smoking marijuana to ease migraine headaches before later beginning to see marijuana as a money making opportunity. Phan argued that he was following the medicinal marijuana debate in Minnesota, and that he one day hoped to open a dispensary. Phan claimed that this growing marijuana in the present would give him a head start.

If you are facing drug charges in State or Federal Court, you may have a legitimate defense, other than hoping to one day open a marijuana dispensary. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assert one of these legitimate defenses by, for example, bringing sufficient pre-trial motions to quash all evidence seized from the search. Even if you do plead guilty, an experienced attorney can also guide you through the confusing sentencing process and help you achieve a favorable, fair sentence.

Max A Keller is an experienced criminal defense attorney who can answer any questions you may have about your case. Max A Keller can advise you whether a legitimate defense exists, and whether you may be able to receive a more favorable sentence by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are facing drug charges and would like to speak with a criminal defense attorney with years of experience in drug crimes, contact Max A Keller today.

Read More: Star-Tribune.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.