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What is the Kentucky state and Federal Statute of limitations for the importation into the US of drugs?

Tompkinsville, KY |

I have a friend who imported 125 grams of ephedrine into the US in 2010. Is he still prosecutable under either Kentucky State or Federal law?

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Attorney answers 3


There is no statute of limitations governing felonies in the state of Kentucky. The governing statute is KRS 500.050:

Kentucky Revised Statutes



Current through Chapter 162, with the exception of Chapter 1, of the 2012 Legislative Session

§ 500.050. Time limitations

(1) Except as otherwise expressly provided, the prosecution of a felony is not subject to a period of limitation and may be commenced at any time.

(2) Except as otherwise expressly provided, the prosecution of an offense other than a felony must be commenced within one (1) year after it is committed.

(3) For a misdemeanor offense under KRS Chapter 510 when the victim is under the age of eighteen (18) at the time of the offense, the prosecution of the offense shall be commenced within five (5) years after the victim attains the age of eighteen (18) years.

(4) For purposes of this section, an offense is committed either when every element occurs, or if a legislative purpose to prohibit a continuing course of conduct plainly appears, at the time when the course of conduct or the defendant's complicity therein is terminated.

Cite as KRS 500.050

History. Effective: July 15, 2008
Amended 2008, Ky. Acts ch. 72, sec. 6, effective July 15, 2008. -- Amended 2000, Ky. Acts ch. 401, sec. 5, effective July 14, 2000. -- Amended 1990 Ky. Acts ch. 448, sec. 2, effective July 13, 1990. -- Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch. 406, sec. 5, effective January 1, 1975.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..

Frank Mascagni III

Frank Mascagni III


If the crime occurred in 2010, the Federal Statute of Limitations has not expired yet.


The federal statute of limitations is 5 years. That period is tolled for time the defendant is outside the U.S.

This answer is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as the practice of law in any jurisdiction in which I am not licensed. The answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is based only on the information provided, and may be inaccurate in the context of additional facts that have not been provided. The questioner should be aware that I am only licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Minnesota. Accordingly, before taking any action or refraining from taking any action, the questioner should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in his or her jurisdiction.


18 USC 3282 requires the federal government to prosecute a drug crime within 5 years from the date of the offense, with limited exceptions. If the defendant was outside of the US or a fugitive from justice, the time limit is tolled during that period. Furthermore, if the offense is charged as a part of a conspiracy, the time limitation does not begin until the defendant withdraws from the conspiracy (legal phrase), the conspiracy ends or its objective is achieved.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.