15 Mar 21

New York Penal Code 220.77: Operating as a major trafficker

| by

Last Updated on: 17th August 2023, 06:54 pm

Being Charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker in New York

Being charged with a drug offense in New York is serious business. When it comes to drug charges, some are far more serious than others. Violating New York’s penal code 220.77 of operating as a major trafficker carries stiff penalties. Below is an overview of this law and how a defendant’s attorney may help his client fight these charges. If you are facing a charge of this nature, it may benefit you to speak with a criminal defense attorney for advice.


New York penal code 220.77 operating as a major trafficker is one of the most serious drug charges you can face. Under the law, someone is considered to be a major drug trafficker when:

  • Someone directs an organization that sells controlled substances
  • The organization sells over $75,000.00 in controlled substances
  • Someone illegally possesses controlled substances intended for sale
  • The narcotics have a street value over $75,000.00

This charge is a Class A-1 Felony in New York. Charges that are similar to this include criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree. However, being charged with operating as a major trafficker carries much harsher penalties.


Under New York law, a Class A-1 felony can carry punishments if the defendant is convicted, such as:

  • Maximum sentence of up to life in prison
  • Minimum prison sentence of 15 to 40 years
  • Fines up to $100,000.00


Mounting an effective defense is key when you are facing charges that threaten your freedom. It is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to learn what options you have available to you under the law. Just because you are charged with a serious drug crime does not mean you will be found guilty and convicted. Some things a criminal defense attorney may be able to do for you are:

  • Hire investigators
  • Examine police search to be certain it was legal
  • Locate witnesses to bolster your case

In some cases, criminal defense attorneys can successfully negotiate a lighter sentence or offer alternative punishment that includes less time in prison. When sentencing drug offenders, the court may consider things like the defendant’s criminal history, his background, and whether or not he is accused of a violent crime. A good defense lawyer will use anything at his disposal to obtain a favorable outcome for his client.


If you or someone you love has been charged with the offense of operating as a major trafficker, it is vital to seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney who has trial experience. During a consultation, an attorney will go over your case and let you know the best way to defend you against the crimes you are accused of. If convicted, you will not only spend a considerable amount of time in jail, but you will have a felony on your record for the remainder of your life. Seeing a lawyer early on gives you the best chance to prepare for your day in court. While it is always stressful to be charged with any type of crime, you can rest assured your criminal defense team will work hard to fight for your best interests and your freedom.