The contemporary controlled substance status for many drugs in the United States has created an extensive black market for these drugs. As always, the motive is profit, but the misleading nature of the products is also leading to these individuals being arrested when their operations draw attention and are investigated. What may be sold as a new powder that results in a mild to moderate euphoria could actually only be aspirin when inspected. But the most serious of these cases in Mississippi is when a counterfeit controlled substance medication is sold outside of established merchandising outlets in black market drug deals.
How a state case can become federal
Most arrests for counterfeit drug sales are made at the state level. Many raids are conducted based on anonymous tips from residents in local areas that illegal activity is occurring. When this counterfeit drug activity occurs across state lines, the legal charges at the state level can be overridden, and the activities can be charged as federal crimes.
The serious penalty nature of federal crimes
Being charged with a federal crime is much more serious than a state crime. Federal prosecutors are not typically as receptive to negotiating plea bargain charge reductions, and penalties are much harsher. In addition, the federal charges can be compounded per sale because each individual sale becomes a charge within itself. A distributor who has products in multiple locations can expect a charge for each location from which their products are confiscated.
Additionally, the probation and parole system in a federal criminal case is more restrictive. Federal law requires a convicted defendant to serve more of their assigned jail term, and qualifying for parole is also more difficult.