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Phenylethylamine and related drugs, which have powerful psychoactive effects, have become available in high doses and in many different forms. The effects are compared to MDMA and THC, and they include increased focus, altered perception, nausea, sweating, increased heart rate, and tightness in the throat. Some people assume that trafficking is limited to better-known drugs or that it is only charged against drug lords or others with large operations. However, you can be charged with drug trafficking under subsection (k) of 893.135 as an individual with a relatively small quantity of drugs. Tampa drug trafficking lawyer Will Hanlon is ready to help you fight these charges.


You can be convicted of trafficking under subsection (k) if the State can prove that you knowingly bought, sold, made, delivered, or imported into Florida (or are in actual or constructive possession of) 10 grams or more of any of a specific list of substances, a mixture containing any of those substances, or a salt, isomer, ester, or ether or salt of an isomer, ester, or ether of any of those substances.

Prohibited substances on the long list of prohibited substances include DOB (4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine), N-Ethylamphetamine, Methcathinone, DOM (4-Methyl-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine), Methylmethcathinone, DOI (4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine), 2C-I (4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine), Butylone (3,4-Methylenedioxy-alpha-methylaminobutyrophenone), Ethcathinone, Ethylone (3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-ethylcathinone), 3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-acetylethcathinone, Bromomethcathinone, Methylbuphedrone (Methyl-alpha-methylaminobutyrophenone), MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), and 6-IT (2-(1H-Indol-6-yl)-1-methyl-ethylamine). Also prohibited is substituted phenylethylamine —materials that have a phenylethylamine structure but have been modified in certain ways.


People who knowingly sell, buy, manufacture, deliver, or import (or who have actual or constructive possession of) any of the listed substances in the statute have committed the first-degree felony of trafficking in phenylethamines. When the quantity involved is between 20 and 200 grams, the mandatory minimum sentence is three years, plus a fine of $50,000. When the amount of the substance is 200 grams to 400 grams, the mandatory minimum sentence is seven years and $100,000. When the amount of the substance is 400 or more grams, the mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years plus a $250,000 fine.

Amount of SubstanceImprisonmentFine
20 grams – 200 grams3 years minimum$50,000
200 grams – 400 grams7 years minimum$100,000
400 grams or more15 years minimum$250,000

There are many potential defenses to a charge of phenylethylamine trafficking. One would be that there is insufficient evidence of one element of the crime. The prosecution needs to show drug trafficking beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is not enough evidence on a particular element, the prosecution cannot show that element beyond a reasonable doubt and therefore cannot prevail on the charge.

Another strategy would be to attack the existing evidence based on how it was seized. The police are supposed to follow numerous rules related to searches and seizures in order to safeguard your Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution.

If, for example, the police did not have a reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed or had been committed when they pulled you over, and then they found phenylethylamine in the car, it may be possible to bring a motion to suppress what they seized. Without evidence of the specific drug being trafficked, the prosecution will not be able to sustain a trafficking charge. Similarly, if you were coerced to speak after being arrested for trafficking, and you made an admission that the prosecution tries to use as part of its case, we might be able to argue that the admission should be suppressed because it violated your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.


Drug trafficking is a crime that is taken quite seriously, and it can be punished even more harshly if there are substantial amounts involved or prior offenses on your record. Representation by an experienced and knowledgeable drug crime lawyer can make a huge difference regarding whether you are convicted and whether you will need to spend time in prison. Our founder, Tampa attorney Will Hanlon, is committed to defending the rights of the accused. He has represented criminal defendants since 1994 and is well versed in all defense strategies. Call Hanlon Law at 813-228-7095 or use our online form to set up an appointment.