Take it from Brandy Grogan, a 35-year-old woman living in Maggie Valley who’s been arrested twice in six months for drug trafficking.
In January, Haywood County authorities stopped her car for driving without headlights during a rainstorm and seized 143-grams of meth, 23.5-grams of cocaine, a handful of pills and almost an ounce of marijuana from the vehicle.
Then, on Thursday – six months and three days since her first arrest on Jan. 17- the law struck again.
Grogan, who but for recent charges has a clean record, was stopped again by deputies who clocked her driving 55 mph in a 45 mph speed zone, according to police reports.
After a police K-9 alerted, deputies searched her vehicle and found that little seems to have changed since her first encounter with the law.
Deputies seized even larger quantities of the same drugs that were found earlier, including 199.7-grams of meth, 32.5-grams of cocaine, almost 6-ounces of weed and 32 Suboxone strips.
Between the two cases combined, she faces multiple counts of meth and cocaine trafficking, possession with the intent to manufacture sell and deliver (PWIMSD) meth, PWIMSD cocaine, PWMSD Sch. II drugs, PWIMSD Sch. III drugs, PWIMSD Sch. VI drugs, maintaining a vehicle and/or dwelling place for the sale and use of drugs, among other charges including multiple weapons violations.
Following her most recent arrest Grogan was placed back in jail on July 20 under $750,000 bond. Unless her bond is reduced, she will have to come up with 15-percent of that amount, or $112,500, to get out.
It will likely be months before the case against Grogan goes to trial. If convicted of drug trafficking, she will serve time.
Trafficking charges carry mandatory prison sentences in North Carolina – up to seven years per conviction.
It’s not just the prison sentence, however, that Grogan has hanging over her head. She will likely be made to pay more than $71,000 in taxes.
The “unauthorized substance tax” is levied against dealers who have not paid taxes on their drugs – regardless of whether or not he/she is found guilty.
Even if Grogan is acquitted of the charges against her, she will still be taxed on the drugs that were found in her possession.
The unauthorized substance tax applies to certain amounts of controlled substances, illicit liquor (i.e. moonshine), mash and illicit mixed beverages. The tax is due to the department of revenue no more than 48-hours after obtaining any of these substances- in exchange for a stamp indicating the taxes have been paid.
Since there were no stamps on the drugs seized from Grogan’s vehicle, it’s unlikely that she has already paid the tax.
This tax will be due at a rate of $200 per gram of meth, $50 per gram of cocaine, $3.50 per gram of marijuana and $50 per pill for some pills, $200 per pill for others.
In Grogan’s case, the meth and cocaine alone will amount to more than $71,000 in taxes.
Of that, 75-percent of what’s collected will be returned to the agencies that worked her case. The remaining 25-percent will be credited to the state.