Generally speaking DHS takes the position that there is no bond available to a person with a drug conviction (assuming that he was arrested or otherwise incarcerated on that charge any time after 1998). However, a number of federal courts have held that a person with a drug conviction must be given a bond hearing if he was not taken into custody by DHS immediately upon his release by the government on the drug charges.
It sounds like a mandatory detention case, in other words no bond will be issued but it's impossible to provide exact advice without meeting with the person and reviewing their paperwork. A "minor" drug and distribution case, is not in fact considered minor by immigration, it will most likely be argued that it is an aggravated felony, which has severe immigration ramifications. Your friend needs an immigration attorney ASAP.
Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general in nature, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
You need a very good, experienced, criminal-immigration attorney immediately! [a lot will depend on the exact charges and circumstances]
Andrew M. Bramante, Rosner Partners, 216-771-5588. Free telephone consultation. You should always consult with an experienced immigration attorney to make certain that the advice you received is appropriate for your particular immigration case.
He will most likely get time served on the drug charge followed by involuntary deportation. If he is ever caught again in America he will get five years for illegal re entry after drug conviction.
His only hope is to get the drug charge dismissed.