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How do federal prosecutors decide when they want to pick up cases from state courts, particularly in drug cases?

Norfolk, VA |

How do federal prosecutors decide when they want to pick up cases from state courts, particularly in drug cases?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

There are many factors: did the drugs cross state lines, is it a large quantity where the penalties are stronger in federal court was the arrest the result of DEA or a Drug Task Force operation, did the money come from out of state sources, are the co-defendants in other states, is the informant working for the feds, etc. Usually the decision involved the size of the oiperation and whether federal wiretaps or other federal law enforcement assistance was involved.

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Kevin Reese Pettrey

Kevin Reese Pettrey

Posted

All the answers on this forum are correct. But ultimately it comes down to the prosecutor's U.S. Attorney's discretion. I have seen some big cases in state court and some small cases in federal court. There is no way to look at a particular case and say definitively if the U.S. Attorney will take jurisdiction, assuming there are some grounds for federal jurisdiction.

Posted

I agree with Mr. Furlong.

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Posted

In federal court, the question is one of numbers. If the quantity of narcotics is high enough, or the dollars great enough, the feds want it. Also consider Project Safe Neighborhood, legislation that attacks drugs and guns together as a important factor.

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Posted

If the crime violates a Federal law is the first issue they look at.

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