Federal Smuggling Charges

Certain federal smuggling charges apply to human trafficking, especially in the areas of the sex trade and slavery or involuntary servitude. Other federal smuggling charges apply to the smuggling of illegal goods.

If you have been accused of violating the following crimes, you should be assisted by federal and state defense attorney David M. Dudley who has an almost unparalleled degree of experience in federal crimes defense.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking laws and regulations fall within the authority of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act (TVPA) has been reauthorized three times since it was first passed in October 2000. The law was reauthorized in 2003, 2005 and 2008.

Other acts having to do with human trafficking include:

  • Sections 307 and 308 of the Customs and Facilitations and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act of 2009. This act prohibits the importation of goods into the U.S. that are made by "the benefit of human trafficking or forced labor."
  • Section 7202 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 founded the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center. The purpose of the center was to improve the "integration and overall effectiveness" in how the U.S. and foreign governments work together to deal with alien smuggling, human trafficking, and "criminal support of clandestine travel."
  • The Protect Act of 2003 protects children from abuse and sexual exploitation
  • The Civil Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000, notifies property owners that their sites are being used for the smuggling or harboring of aliens. This is important because employers often ignore the crimes being committed on their property
  • The Mann Act of 1910 makes it a felony to knowingly persuade or force someone to cross state lines for the purpose of prostitution.
  • Smuggling of aliens into the U.S.

Smuggling Illegal Goods

Many other types of materials as well as animals fall within the category of illegal goods. A German man was arrested on charges of smuggling into the U.S. hundreds of tarantulas. "Operation Spiderman" was conducted by a number of U.S. agencies. The accused was charged with one count of illegally importing wildlife into the country. The sentence for this crime is a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Other illegal goods that often are smuggled are:

Selected Case Results

  • U.S. v. J.T.: The defendant owned an international trading company which allegedly smuggled millions of dollars in illegal products into the United States from China and faced federal smuggling charges. The defense negotiated a settlement of the case which allowed the defendant to serve only six months in a prison camp.
  • U.S. v. S.W.: Federal customs authorities arrested the defendant as the recipient of over $3,000,000 in counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes shipped in a container from China. After negotiating a plea to one count of a multi-count federal indictment, the defense persuaded the court to sentence the defendant below the applicable sentencing guideline range. Ultimately, the Mr. Dudley's client served only eleven months for the offense.

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