Drug Trafficking Arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

The repercussions of a drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport often extend far beyond the possibility of prison time and probation. While the legal system imposes penalties for drug-related offenses, individuals also face collateral consequences that can significantly impact their lives. These collateral consequences, ranging from barriers to employment and housing to social stigma and mental health challenges, highlight the complex and enduring effects of drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson’s Atlanta International Airport.

One of the most significant collateral consequences of a drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the challenge of securing employment. Many employers conduct background checks, and a drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will serve as a red flag, leading to discrimination in hiring processes. Even if individuals have served their time or completed rehabilitation programs, the stigma associated with a drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport can linger, hindering their ability to find gainful employment and support themselves and their families.

For individuals with a drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport record, securing stable housing can be a daunting task. Landlords may be hesitant to rent to individuals with criminal records, fearing potential liabilities or disruptions to the community. As a result, those with drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport histories may face housing discrimination, limited housing options, or even homelessness, exacerbating the cycle of poverty and instability.

The financial toll of a drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport extends beyond legal fees and fines. Individuals may struggle to obtain loans, financial aid, or housing assistance programs due to their criminal record. Moreover, the loss of income resulting from employment barriers can further strain financial resources, making it challenging to rebuild one’s life after a drug-related arrest.

The stigma surrounding drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airports can lead to social ostracization and isolation. Friends, family members, and community members may distance themselves from individuals with criminal records, perpetuating feelings of shame, loneliness, and alienation. This social stigma can impede reintegration into society and hinder access to support networks essential for rehabilitation and recovery.

The emotional toll of a drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and its aftermath can contribute to mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Coping with the stigma, shame, and uncertainty associated with a criminal record can exacerbate existing mental health conditions or lead to the development of new ones. Without adequate support and resources, individuals may struggle to address these mental health challenges effectively.


Barriers to Education and Professional Licenses:

In addition to employment barriers, individuals with drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport records may encounter obstacles in pursuing education and obtaining professional licenses. Many educational institutions and licensing boards conduct background checks, and a criminal record can jeopardize admission or licensure. These barriers limit opportunities for personal and professional growth, perpetuating cycles of disadvantage and hindering efforts to break free from the repercussions of a drug-related arrest.

The collateral consequences of a drug trafficking arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport are profound and enduring, affecting various aspects of individuals’ lives long after the legal process has concluded. From barriers to employment and housing to social stigma and mental health challenges, these consequences underscore the need for comprehensive reform and support systems to address the root causes of substance abuse and mitigate the far-reaching impacts of the criminal justice system.

If you have been arrested for drug trafficking, including marijuana trafficking, cocaine trafficking and heroin trafficking please contact our law office to review your legal options.  Our law office telephone number is 404-581-0999.  Ask for a free consultation on a drug trafficking arrest at the airport.

The Crucial Role of Hiring a Lawyer If You’ve Been Arrested in Atlanta

Facing arrest can be a harrowing experience, particularly in a bustling city like Atlanta, where legal procedures can be complex and consequences severe. In such situations, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is not just advisable; it’s imperative. Here’s why:


  1. **Legal Expertise**: Attorneys specializing in criminal defense possess extensive knowledge of the law, including local ordinances and courtroom procedures specific to Atlanta. They understand the nuances of the legal system, enabling them to build a robust defense strategy tailored to your case.


  1. **Protection of Rights**: When arrested, individuals are entitled to certain rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to legal representation. A skilled lawyer ensures that your rights are upheld throughout the legal process, safeguarding you from potential abuses of power or procedural errors.


  1. **Strategic Counsel**: Lawyers analyze the details of your case, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and potential legal options. They provide strategic counsel on how to navigate the complexities of the legal system, including whether to plead guilty, negotiate a plea bargain, or proceed to trial.


  1. **Mitigation of Penalties**: In the event of conviction, attorneys work tirelessly to mitigate penalties and minimize the long-term consequences of criminal charges. This may involve negotiating reduced charges, advocating for alternative sentencing options, or pursuing avenues for rehabilitation and community service.


  1. **Evidence Examination**: Lawyers have the expertise to scrutinize evidence presented by the prosecution, identifying inconsistencies, inaccuracies, or violations of due process. They may uncover mitigating factors or exculpatory evidence that could strengthen your defense or lead to the dismissal of charges.


  1. **Emotional Support**: Being arrested can be emotionally taxing, causing stress, anxiety, and uncertainty about the future. A compassionate lawyer not only provides legal guidance but also offers emotional support, reassuring you and your loved ones during this challenging time.


  1. **Familiarity with Court System**: Local attorneys in Atlanta have established relationships with judges, prosecutors, and court personnel. This familiarity with the local court system can be advantageous, as it facilitates smoother communication, negotiation, and advocacy on behalf of their clients.


  1. **Preservation of Reputation**: A criminal record can have far-reaching implications, affecting employment opportunities, housing options, and personal relationships. By vigorously defending your case, lawyers strive to protect your reputation and minimize the stigma associated with criminal charges.


  1. **Cost-Effective in the Long Run**: While hiring a lawyer may incur upfront costs, the investment can save you money in the long run. Skilled legal representation increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome, potentially avoiding costly fines, lengthy imprisonment, or other financial repercussions associated with criminal convictions.


  1. **Peace of Mind**: Ultimately, hiring a lawyer provides peace of mind knowing that you have a knowledgeable advocate fighting for your rights and best interests. Whether navigating pre-trial negotiations, challenging evidence in court, or representing you at trial, a competent attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your case.


In conclusion, if you find yourself facing arrest in Atlanta, don’t underestimate the importance of hiring a qualified lawyer.  I have over 24 years of criminal experience. In our firm we have over 100 years of legal experience.  From protecting your rights to providing strategic counsel and emotional support, legal representation is indispensable in navigating the complexities of the criminal justice system and securing a brighter future.


Call our office for a free consultation today.

Arrest for Trafficking at Hartsfield Jackson Airport

If you or a loved one is arrested for Trafficking in Clayton County at the Atlanta airport, it is important that you act immediately to protect yourself. Do not wait until your court date to get an attorney and to preserve evidence.

The Clayton County District Attorney has a dedicated division to prosecute cases involving Trafficking case. They will vigorously prosecute you if you are transport drugs through the airport.
Do not think that just because you are innocent that the charges will be dismissed. Drug charges are aggressively prosecuted in Clayton County.

Make sure your attorney has had felony jury trials and has won these cases. Do not let an attorney handle your case who does not specifically handle drug cases. Many drug cases are won at a motions hearing. It is imperative that you get body cams, dash cams, search warrants and take witness statements of anyone involved in the search and seizure of the drugs.

The law may say you are presumed innocent but in drug cases, you have to prove your innocence.

Here is what you should do if arrested for Trafficking at the airport in Clayton County.
1. Hire an attorney – Make sure that attorney actually handles and tries drug cases in Clayton County. Most criminal defense attorneys do not handle these cases. Make sure the attorney you talk to does regularly handles drug cases in Georgia
2. Avoid making any statements – Do not proclaim your innocence to the police at the airport. The police will not believe you. Do not think you can show up at your first court date and tell the prosecutor and judge that you are innocent and expect the charges to be dropped. If you are arrested for trafficking, you have to start preparing for your jury trial. Do not make any statements to anyone except your lawyer.
3. Start gathering important evidence
a. Gather and preserve any physical evidence in your possession.
b. Gather and preserve any documents that might relate to this accusation including emails, texts, social media, phone records, GPS records, computer records or any other document that might show where you were when this incident allegedly occurred.
c. Witnesses – Immediately make a list of any person who you think might have information about this accusation. Do not discuss the case with this person but pass this list of potential witnesses to your attorney and let your attorney contact them.
Here is what you should never do if arrested for trafficking at the airport in Clayton County.
1. Never talk to law enforcement or the Clayton County District Attorney’s office without an attorney.

If you are arrested for trafficking at the airport in cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine or any other illegal drug in Clayton County, please call our office 24/7 at 404-581-0999. We will sit down with you and fully discuss your case and what to expect in court. There is no charge for the initial consultation. You will only retain us if you feel we are the best law firm to represent you. It is your case and your life so you need to hire the lawyer that you feel gives you the best chance to win.

Trafficking at Airport

Trafficking marijuana or cocaine at the Atlanta airport is a serious offense.  Our law firm has successfully handled hundreds of these cases in Clayton County.  The first step in successfully handling these cases is knowing the law.

Let’s take a hypothetical situation that we see often in our drug trafficking cases from the Atlanta airport.  Hypothetically speaking, John Passenger arrived in the Atlanta airport on  a flight from the Dominican Republic. After disembarking, he did not follow the other passengers but began wandering aimlessly in the seating area next to the gate. Two Clayton County police officers, Officer Slammer and Officer Book’em, had been informed that John Passenger would be on the flight. The officers were dressed in plain clothes, with no weapons visible. They approached John Passenger from behind, and one officer said, “Excuse me, sir, I’m a police officer. Can I talk to you for a minute?” John Passenger turned and responded, “Yes,” in English, but when the officers asked him if he spoke English, he smiled and responded in English that he did not. John Passenger told the officers, through an interpreter, that he was in Atlanta for personal reasons and that he was employed as a construction worker. Officer Slammer asked to see the palms of John Passenger’s hands, and he saw that they were smooth and free of calluses. At this point, John Passenger began to appear very nervous; his hands shook and he began to sweat.

Officer Slammer explained to John Passenger that he was a narcotics officer; he asked permission to search John Passenger and his luggage, but John Passenger agreed to a search of his person only and not of his luggage. When asked why he was hesitant to allow his luggage to be searched, John Passenger replied that it contained X-rated material and women’s lingerie and that he would be embarrassed by a search. Agent Officer Book’em asked if John Passenger would rather have a drug sniffing dog check the luggage for narcotics, and John Passenger said that he would rather have a dog check the luggage. They proceeded to baggage claim, where the defendant’s bag was located.

Agent Officer Slammer called for a dog from the Tri-City Narcotics Unit. He also told John Passenger he was not under arrest. The K-9 unit arrived less than 15 minutes later, and the agents arranged for the dog, named K-9 Drug Dog, to check a line of four bags, including John Passenger’s luggage.  K-9 Drug Dog alerted to John Passenger’s bag. The officers again asked John Passenger if he would agree to a search of the bag. John Passenger responded that he would agree only if he could do the search himself, but the officers did not agree to this proposal. Officer Slammer then ordered John Passenger detained. The officers took him and the bag to the narcotics office, where Agent Espana, who spoke Spanish, informed John Passenger of his Miranda rights. The officers obtained a search warrant for the bag. Inside, they found five kilos of cocaine.

This hypothetical was taken from a real case.  Clearly, John Passenger did not adequately protect his rights in that he agreed to allow a k-9 dog at the Atlanta airport to do a free air sniff around his bag.  Second, he agreed to go with officers to allow the K-9 to sniff his luggage.  Lastly, he agreed to allow officers to search his bag without a warrant.  Obviously, even if you are not trafficking drugs at the airport, you should always protect your rights and never consent to a search unless it is requested by TSA for security purposes in order for you to fly.  Secondly, you should always be polite and respectful of law enforcement when you decline to permit them to search your luggage or walk with them to a location you do not want to go.  If they tell you you are under arrest then obviously comply with their commands.

One hopes a bad thing will not happen to you as you are travelling through Atlanta’s International Airport, but sometimes bad things happen to unassuming innocent people.  If you find that law enforcement has charged you with Trafficking Cocaine or Trafficking Marijuana at the Atlanta airport by searching your luggage and finding drugs, it is important that you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney to represent you if you are charged with this offense. The lawyers at our law office are experienced at defending these types of crimes and will work tirelessly to discover defenses in your case and protect you from these severe punishments. Call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.

Trafficking Marijuana at the Atlanta Airport

If you are arrested for marijuana at the Atlanta airport, your case will likely be prosecuted in Clayton County Superior Court. The penalties you could possibly face if convicted depend on how much marijuana you have with you at the time of your arrest.

Georgia regulates marijuana through the Georgia Controlled Substance Act and O.C.G.A. §16-13-1(a)(1) says that marijuana is a controlled substance. The Georgia codes that specifically regulates marijuana crimes are O.C.G.A. § 16-13-30(j) and O.C.G.A. § 16-13-31(c). The statutes say that “It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, have under his or her control, manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, administer, purchase, sell, or possess with intent to distribute marijuana”. The penalties an individual faces for possessing marijuana at the Atlanta airport depend on the quantity of marijuana and could range from a simple fine to up to 15 years in prison.

If you are caught with less than an ounce of marijuana, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine of up to $1000 and/or a year in jail. If you are caught with more than an ounce but less than 10 pounds of marijuana, you face a felony conviction and 1-10 years in prison.

However, for the higher amounts often intercepted at the airport, the penalties are severe. If you possess marijuana in excess of 10 pounds, you will be charged with trafficking marijuana and the penalties depend on the amount you possess:

  • If you are arrested with 10-2,000 pounds of marijuana, you will be charged with felony trafficking and face a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
  • If you are arrested with 2,000-10,000 pounds of marijuana, you will be charged with felony trafficking and face a mandatory minimum of 7 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
  • If you are arrested with more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana, you will be charged with felony trafficking and face a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

As you can see, the penalties for trafficking marijuana at the Atlanta airport are steep. It is important that you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney to represent you if you are charged with this offense. The lawyers at W. Scott Smith are experienced at defending these types of crimes and will work tirelessly to discover defenses in your case and protect you from these severe punishments. Call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.

What to do if you are arrested for marijuana trafficking at the airport ?

Imagine you have just flown into Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. You get off the plane and proceed to baggage claim. After you grab your bag, you are approached by several people who identify themselves as law enforcement. They ask to search your luggage and you agree. A search reveals a large quantity of marijuana and you have no idea how it got in your bag. You are now facing marijuana trafficking charges in Clayton County, Georgia.

Trafficking marijuana is defined as selling, manufacturing, growing, delivering, or possessing more than 10 pounds or marijuana. If the amount of marijuana is greater than 10 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds, the law requires a mandatory minimum 5 year prison sentence plus a $100,000 fine. If the quantity involved is greater than 2,000 pounds but less than 10,000 pounds, there is a 7 year mandatory minimum prison sentence plus a $250,000 fine. Finally, if the quantity of marijuana is greater than 10,000 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 15 years as well as a fine of $1,000,000.

Although the above sentences are described as “mandatory minimum prison” sentences, there are a few limited ways in which someone convicted of marijuana trafficking may be sentenced to less prison time than what is required by the mandatory minimums: (1) If the defendant provides “substantial assistance” to the government in identifying, arresting, and/or convicting other people involved in the drug conspiracy, the prosecutor may move the court to reduce or suspend part or all of the defendant’s sentence; (2) by agreement of the parties through a “negotiated plea”; or (3) the judge may depart from these mandatory minimums if certain mitigating factors exist (no prior felonies, no firearm used, defendant not head of conspiracy, nobody was injured as a result of criminal conduct, or if the interests of justice would not be served by imposing a mandatory minimum sentence).

Clayton County

If you have been arrested in Clayton County for marijuana trafficking at Hartsfield-Jackson airport, the first and most important step is getting a bond. Only a superior court judge may set bail on a trafficking charge. When considering whether to grant a bond the judge analyzes four factors, whether the defendant is a significant risk of:

  1. Fleeing from the jurisdiction of the court
  2. Posing a threat or danger to any person
  3. Committing a felony while on pre-trial release
  4. Intimidating witnesses

Our firm can get the prosecutor to consent to a bond in the case if you have ties to the community and meet the above factors. In Clayton County, bonds for trafficking range from $50,000 up to $125,000. The judge may also impose non-monetary restrictions (house arrest, no contact provisions, GPS ankle monitor, curfew, etc.). There is always the possibility, however, that a judge will deny setting a bond in the case, even if the bond was consented to. If the prosecutor will not agree to a bond, then the defendant will have to go before the judge and offer evidence of defendant’s ties to the communities (length of residence, family ties, employment status and history, history of responding to legal process – failure to appears or probation violations, lack of criminal history).

If a bond is granted, the next step is fighting the case. Once all the evidence is gathered through the discovery process and our firm’s own independent investigation, we then speak with the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office in an attempt to discuss a resolution. IF a resolution cannot be reached, then we will schedule the case for a motions hearing and jury trial.

Contact Us

If you or someone you know has been arrested for drug trafficking, contact the law firm of W. Scott Smith at 404.581.0999 today.


Marijuana Trafficking at the Atlanta Airport

News reports of airline travel being back to 90 percent of pre-covid flying will lead to more scrutiny at the airport for passengers flying into Atlanta’ s airport.  Atlanta has the world’s largest airport: Jackson-Hartsfield International Airport.  In a discussion I had with a DEA agent, he told me on every flight from California, Arizona, and Colorado there will be a passenger on the flight with a large amount of trafficking marijuana.  Even though Marijuana is legal in some states, it is still illegal in Georgia.  If you get stopped by Clayton County, Drug Enforcement Agents or Atlanta Police, and you are found to be carrying greater than ten pounds of marijuana in your luggage you will be arrested for Marijuana Trafficking and taken to the Clayton County Jail.  In all cases, the first appearance judge will deny you a bond.  On every case our firm has been hired to assist couriers charged with marijuana trafficking in Atlanta, we have been able to get the client a bond in Clayton County.  In order to get a bond, you need to acquire copies of the warrants and incident reports.  The state’s prosecutor in Clayton County will want to run the subject’s criminal history.  Once those items are acquired, you can get a consent bond and bond out of jail.  It is also helpful if the person traveling has money (shows they are a courier and not seller), they fly very infrequently and they were cooperative to law enforcement.  However, people flying should never consent to a search of their luggage, as consent is voluntary and nobody should be subject to search of their person or personal effects such as luggage without a warrant.  If you or a loved one gets charged with marijuana trafficking at the Atlanta Airport, please do not hesitate to call our law office so we can assist with representation.  Our phone number is 404-581-0999.

Airport Marijuana Trafficking

The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta is one of the busiest airports in the world. Thousands of travelers pass through every day for business and pleasure alike. It is a hub for nearly every major airline, flying passengers to the four corners of the world.

On High Alert for Drugs

Due to the high volume of flights and passengers, airport security, TSA agents, FBI Agents, Clayton County Police Department, Atlanta Police Department and the US Drug Enforcement Agency are trained to spot and act quickly on any suspected criminal behavior. We often get calls regarding drugs or weapons found in passengers’ luggage. Marijuana charges and in particular trafficking in marijuana are incredibly common at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, especially from flights out of Arizona, California and Colorado.

What Happens To My Bag?

Your bag that contains marijuana is brought from underneath the plane and directed to baggage claim at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. While you exit and make your way to the next terminal or to pick up your bags, the luggage is subjected to a K-9 Unit search. Courts have continually determined that using canines at the airport is lawful, and their actions are not considered searches under the 14th Amendment (United States v. Place) as long as the bag is not opened or searched before the dog alerts on the luggage. Law enforcement have probable cause to search your bag if a dog alerts the agent that marijuana is present. Once they find the drugs, they will detain you and likely charge you with trafficking marijuana.

Where Will My Case Be?

If you are charged, you will be sent to the Clayton County Jail, and the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office will handle your prosecution in Superior Court. At this point, it is imperative that you seek out representation to move forward and get out of jail quickly. We have years of experience in Clayton County handling various charges, including those involving incidents at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport.  Recently we have been very successful in arranging a bond on Trafficking at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Call us today for your free consultation at 404-581-0999. We will hear the details of your case and provide you with legal advice that could save your freedom.

Marijuana at Atlanta Airport

We are one of the top criminal defense law firms in Atlanta.  Our firm defends individuals arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Atlanta Airport) charged with Trafficking Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute

Who arrests me at the airport?

The majority of the time someone is arrested in Atlanta after landing the flights are from California to Atlanta, but we have seen flights into Atlanta from all fifty states and other countries.  The law enforcement agencies involved include the Federal Bureau of investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Atlanta Police Department.  The cases usually do not get referred to Federal Court for prosecution but rather get sent to Clayton County Superior Court. 

What will happen after my arrest?

Once arrested for Marijuana Trafficking in Atlanta’s airport the traveler gets taken to the Clayton County Jail located at 9157 Tara Blvd, Jonesboro, Georgia 30236.  The person traveling with large amounts of marijuana through the airport will have bond initially denied.  It takes our law firm approximately two weeks to get an individual on a calendar for bond.  The bond amount depends on the criminal history and the amount of the marijuana.  We have never had a client with just marijuana, no matter the amount of marijuana, denied bond.  Recently we have been able to get clients’ bonds in the amounts ranging from $45,000 – $60,000 for marijuana trafficking through the airport. 

What should I do if approached?

As a reminder, if you are approached by law enforcement in the Atlanta airport be prepared to follow some simple directions. 

  1. Remain calm and always be polite. Assume you are being recorded. Start your own telephone’s audio recording function.
  2. Prepare to hand the officer your driver’s license and your luggage receipt.
  3. You are never required to answer questions. You should respectfully decline and ask for an attorney.
  4. You should decline a consensual search of your luggage. You never know what someone has put in your luggage.
  5. You are free to leave unless you have been detained or placed under arrest.  You are allowed to politely ask the officer if you can leave the airport.
  6. Call us immediately upon being arrested, no matter the time, night or day. 404-581-0999