The Kingpin Statute or CCE Statute

Federal Drug Trafficking Attorney in Michigan

Commonly known as The Kingpin Statute or CCE Statute, the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute is a U.S. federal law, which is aimed primarily at individuals, who may be considered "drug lords" or who play a leadership or supervisory role in long-term drug trafficking on a substantial or large-scale basis. The CCE statute usually targets only major narcotics organizations; those considered to be engaged as leaders of organized crime or drug "kingpins."

Defined in 21 U.S.C. 848, there are certain elements that must be proved before an individual can be convicted of this type of crime. As competent Michigan federal drug crimes lawyers, the professionals at Grabel & Associates know that individuals convicted of this offense will face a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, and possibly life behind bars. Additional penalties include as much as $2 million in fines and forfeiture of any/all interests or profits gained from the enterprise.

Elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be convicted include:

1. The individual charged with the offense did commit the underlying drug crime he or she is accused of.

2. The accused participated in a series of at least three federal drug crimes. Whether three, four or more offenses, the series must have taken place in a defined period of time, and the offenses related to each other in some way. Even if proof exists of isolated drug offenses, this element will not be satisfied. This must be a "string" of crimes that are related, all within a specific time period.

3. In committing or conspiring to commit a continuous series of felony violations, the accused acted in conjunction with five or more people (the indictment does not have to contain the names of these individuals). It is not required that the government proves that the accused had the same relationship with all of he or she was accused of acting in concert with, or that all of these individuals acted together at the same time. Identification through first and last name is not necessary; street names may be used, as long as the five or more individuals allegedly involved are identified.

4. The five or more individuals who conspired in the crime were managed or supervised by the accused (defendant). Under the CCE Statute, there must be a distinguishment made between individuals who supervise/manage/direct the criminal enterprise and those who are employees. The government does not have to prove that the accused was the sole leader or "kingpin" of the enterprise. Again, it is not necessary that the accused has the same type of relationship with the "employees" or individuals under his or her supervision. Evidence that the accused individual instructed those working in an employee capacity, made arrangements for money laundering or negotiated substantial (large) purchases can prove this element.

5. Substantial income or other resources were acquired by the accused (defendant) through the alleged violations. While the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute does not specify a minimum amount, this element will not be satisfied by a trivial amount of income or resources. Considerations may include the accused individual's anticipated or net profit, gross income, and lavish or excessive spending.

As mentioned above, first-time offenders face a minimum sentence of 20 years and maximum life in prison. Second-time offenders face a mandatory minimum of 30 years behind bars.

As experienced Michigan federal drug crimes defense attorneys, we understand the seriousness of federal drug charges and the severe punishment individuals face when convicted. At Grabel & Associates, we bring a combined 100 years of legal expertise, skill and dedication to the table for our clients. We pride ourselves on the excellent results we consistently achieve for our clients, and invite you to contact us today at 1-800-342-7896 for unmatched legal guidance and representation.


With drug crime defense attorneys statewide, Grabel & Associates defends people throughout Michigan charged with possession, intent to distribute, manufacturing, cultivation and illegal prescription drugs.