With intent to distribute charges, prosecutors may need to prove that defendants exchanged controlled substances for money or property. According to the Code of Virginia, the court may consider the financial value of an alleged exchange.
A judge may review the dollar amount allegedly received for distributing controlled substances. If the monetary amount substantially exceeds the controlled substances’ value, a prosecutor may attempt to prove that the defendants distributed it for profit.
Search warrants may allow officials to seize items as evidence
Law enforcement may obtain a search warrant to seize evidence. Prosecutors could show the court items removed from an individual’s home, work or car to prove intent to sell or distribute.
Evidence may include chemical mixtures containing controlled substances. Officials may also search prescription records to verify that pharmacists filled them for their named patients. Mismatched medical records may show evidence of an intent to distribute.
Prosecutors may attempt to show “transaction protection”
As reported by WTOP News, officials charged a federal officer with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. The Virginia resident also faces a charge of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance while armed. The U.S. Department of Justice notes that drug trafficking could involve armed protection from local law enforcement.
Prosecutors may use a retrieved firearm as evidence to show a defendant planned to use it in connection with an unlawful exchange. For the court to convict with proof of intent, however, the prosecution may need to prove substantial financial gain. A prosecutor may also attempt to show how a protective action helped make the unlawful exchange.