Your question lacks sufficient information to answer fully. Many federal drug conspiracy cases rely upon the testimony of cooperating co-conspirators. Others rely upon confidential sources or snitches. Often, the government will employ consensual intercepts of telephone conversations. Less often, they will use wiretaps where neither party is aware that government agents are listening on the telephone.
Your family member should immediately retain an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. If they cannot afford to hire private counsel, they should contact the Federal Defender in their area and apply for court-appointed counsel.
This is too broad a question to answer. There could be an unending number of types of proof. Phone records, witness statements, videos, confessions, the drug evidence itself, etc. His attorney will go through the discovery process with the prosecutor and let him know what kind of evidence they have.
Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at www.macyjaggers.com for more information about her services and recent victories.
21 USC § 846 proscribes the attempt or conspiracy to commit a federal drug crime. 18 USC § 2 proscribes the aiding and abetting of any federal crime, and is generally used as an alternate charge to prosecute the same conduct alleged in violation of § 846 (the Government's theory is that if it cannot prove that a defendant joined the conspiracy as a principal actor, then it may be able to prove that the defendant at least aided and abetted the principal actors, all of which conduct is subject to the same penalties). Nonetheless, a drug conspiracy is nothing more than an agreement between the defendant and one or more other persons (although not federal agents or informants working on the behalf of federal agents) to commit a federal drug offense. The Government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that a drug conspiracy existed, and that the defendant, knowing the object of the conspiracy, knowingly and willfully joined the conspiracy with the specific intent to achieve the object of the conspiracy. The Government's proof often consists of electronic surveillance (wiretaps) and always the testimony of the defendant's alleged co-conspirators. Any of this evidence, if believed to be true by the jury, is sufficient to sustain a conviction for the offense. However, if the jury does not believe that the evidence is credible, it will acquit the defendant.
Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.
NATIONAL FEDERAL DEFENSE GROUP
Admissible evidence would be proof including audio and visual recordsings, testimony from co-defendants, testimony from undercover agents and so on. The list is long.
Generally, when you want to see what the United States Attorneys office in your area might do under 21 U.S.C. § 846; 963, consult the United States Attorney's Manual (see link).
That said, there are so many distinct details as to how this will proceed, I highly suggest you seek out an attorney well versed in federal criminal defense. the senences range from; 5 Kilograms or more: 10 year Minimum Mandatory and up to life. 500 grams to 499.9 kilograms: 5 year Minimum Mandatory and up to 40 years. Under 500 grams: no Minimum Mandatory. Sentencing Guidelines is up to 20 years.
This should not be construed as advice, only information and I recommend for any additional questions you seek the advice of experienced immigration legal counsel. The posting of a response in no way infers client - attorney relationship has been established.