For those in the drug dealing industry, manufacturing illegal substances without detection is only half the battle. These people must also transport the drugs to their customers. In many cases, this involves transporting drugs across county, state and even country boundaries. Given the long distances, most drug distributors choose to transport drugs by vehicle. Due to the risks associated with using a personal vehicle to transport drugs, many dealers use taxis instead.
This drug-running approach is not new. So, it should come to no one's surprise that many dealers are turning to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to get drugs to paying customers.
Drug dealers must get creative to transport their products
The main difference between the illegal drug industry and others is that the drug market requires "extralegal delivery mechanisms" according to Josh Klein, a technologist interested in black market economies. Law enforcement agencies are constantly catching on to the tactics of drug dealers, which means individuals have no choice but to get creative. It appears the latest tactic drug dealers are resorting to is using ridesharing services to transport drugs.
Independent of the Uber company, Uber People is an online forum frequented by rideshare drivers. Recently, this forum has become rife with anecdotes told by rideshare drivers who claim passengers used Uber to conduct drug deals. While this phenomenon is not yet widespread, many law enforcement officers predict the practice will become more popular with time.
Creativity doesn't stop the prosecution
In Tennessee, as in many states, drug crimes tend to be prosecuted aggressively. Those charged with conducting drug deals - whether they allegedly occurred using rideshare services or not - would do well to contact an experienced drug crime defense attorney for help.
The penalties for even minor-seeming drug offenses, like possession with intent to sell, include at minimum one year in prison, and potentially decades more. A strong defense lawyer can protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome.