A 31-year-old North Carolina resident found herself facing a serious conspiracy charge after an investigation discovered that she and several other individuals allegedly planned to distribute cocaine. As a result of the federal crackdown during the 1980s, individuals charged with conspiracy may face a lengthy sentence of incarceration over an alleged association with a reported drug dealer, as reported by Vice News.

Federal regulations require that law enforcement officials meet minimum sentencing standards for certain drug-related offenses such as conspiracy and trafficking. A strong defense may, however, reduce the severity of a punishment that comes with a suspected conspiracy. To prove that a conspiracy exists, a prosecutor must provide evidence of an agreement made between two or more individuals. The agreement must involve an unlawful act such as distributing drugs, with at least one individual taking a step necessary to carry out the plan.

Through the use of wiretaps, law enforcement officials conducted an investigation of an alleged drug trafficking ring involving residents of numerous states. If apprehended, all members of an alleged distribution conspiracy may face serious felony charges. As reported by States Leading Top News, the North Carolina woman received an incarceration sentence of one day and three years of supervised release as a result of her alleged involvement in a plan to distribute cocaine.

While a drug trafficking conviction typically carries a punishment of up to five years in prison, receiving a one day sentence may not appear harsh for a conspiracy conviction. It is up to the prosecutor, however, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual had a genuine intent to participate in the activities of a high-profile trafficking ring, and a defendant has the legal right to counteract those allegations.