Trafficking in Explosives
The penalties for an explosives trafficking charge in New York can be severe, as the state has one of the strongest anti-weapons positions in the country. Article 265 of the New York Penal Law covers weapons offenses, and the penalties can be drastic depending on the circumstances and the defendant’s criminal history.
New York requires a person or business to obtain a permit before dealing in explosives, such as for a building demolition or fireworks display. Unlicensed use, storage, transportation, and sale are criminalized, subjecting offenders to prison, fines, and forfeiture of the illegal explosives.
Anyone caught dealing in illegal explosives can be charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon, a category of violent felonies. Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree is a class D felony that can draw a sentence of 2-7 years in prison. Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree is a class C felony punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree, which applies when a person possesses an explosive substance with the intention of using it to cause injury or damage, is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
When is the best time to act?
A person who has been arrested for unlawful dealing in explosives needs to contact a New York criminal defense attorney immediately. Weapons crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of state law, and a felony conviction can not only send a person to prison: it can also hamper their job prospects and even result in deportation if they are not U.S. citizens.
Assault with a deadly weapon, attempted criminal possession of a weapon, sale or purchase of an illegal weapon, unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon
Inability to prove that someone actually trafficked in explosives, illegal search and seizure, false accusation, and mental illness can all be presented as defenses to an explosives trafficking charge.
Difference between New York State and Federal Statutes
Under 18 U.S. Code § 844, any person who transports or receives (or attempts to transport or receive) any explosive via interstate or foreign commerce with the intent or knowledge that it will be used to cause injury, death, or property damage can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. If injury or death occurs as a result of the trafficking in explosives, the sentence can increase to 20 years, life, or even the death penalty.
High profile/Government cases
On March 25, 2014 Jose Pimentel, a.k.a. “Muhammad Yousuf,” a.k.a.“Yusuf,” 29, was sentenced to 16 years in prison and 5 years of post-release supervision for putting together improvised explosive devices with the intention of harming U.S. military personnel and civilians. He had been charged with Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree as a Crime of Terrorism.