2018 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 21a - Consumer Protection
Chapter 420b - Dependency-Producing Drugs
Section 21a-278a - Penalty for illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 21a-278a (2018)

(a) Any person eighteen years of age or older who violates section 21a-277 or 21a-278, and who is not, at the time of such action, a drug-dependent person, by distributing, selling, prescribing, dispensing, offering, giving or administering any controlled substance to another person who is under eighteen years of age and is at least two years younger than such person who is in violation of section 21a-277 or 21a-278, shall be imprisoned for a term of two years, which shall not be suspended and shall be in addition and consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed for violation of section 21a-277 or 21a-278.

(b) Any person who violates section 21a-277 or 21a-278 by manufacturing, distributing, selling, prescribing, dispensing, compounding, transporting with the intent to sell or dispense, possessing with the intent to sell or dispense, offering, giving or administering to another person any controlled substance in or on, or within one thousand five hundred feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, a public housing project or a licensed child care center, as defined in section 19a-77, that is identified as a child care center by a sign posted in a conspicuous place shall be imprisoned for a term of three years, which shall not be suspended and shall be in addition and consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed for violation of section 21a-277 or 21a-278. To constitute a violation of this subsection, an act of transporting or possessing a controlled substance shall be with intent to sell or dispense in or on, or within one thousand five hundred feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, a public housing project or a licensed child care center, as defined in section 19a-77, that is identified as a child care center by a sign posted in a conspicuous place. For the purposes of this subsection, “public housing project” means dwelling accommodations operated as a state or federally subsidized multifamily housing project by a housing authority, nonprofit corporation or municipal developer, as defined in section 8-39, pursuant to chapter 128 or by the Connecticut Housing Authority pursuant to chapter 129.

(c) Any person who employs, hires, uses, persuades, induces, entices or coerces a person under eighteen years of age to violate section 21a-277 or 21a-278 shall be imprisoned for a term of three years, which shall not be suspended and shall be in addition and consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed for violation of section 21a-277 or 21a-278.

(P.A. 87-373, S. 3; P.A. 89-256, S. 1; P.A. 92-82; P.A. 94-233, S. 1; P.A. 15-227, S. 25.)

History: P.A. 89-256 amended Subsec. (b) to increase the additional, nonsuspendable term of imprisonment from 2 to 3 years for the illegal sale of controlled substances near school grounds and amended Subsec. (c) to increase the additional, nonsuspendable term of imprisonment from 2 to 3 years for using a minor to commit drug offenses; P.A. 92-82 amended Subsec. (b) to increase the proximity distance to school property from 1,000 to 1,500 feet, to make the enhanced penalty applicable to transactions in or near a public housing project and to define “public housing project”; P.A. 94-233 amended Subsec. (b) to remove the exception for drug-dependent persons and make the enhanced penalty applicable to transactions in or near a licensed child day care center that is identified as a child day care center by a sign posted in a conspicuous place; pursuant to P.A. 15-227, “child day care center” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “child care center” in Subsec. (b), effective July 1, 2015.

See Sec. 21a-283a re authority of court to depart from prescribed mandatory minimum sentence.

Cited. 20 CA 694; 25 CA 21; 32 CA 724; Id., 831; 35 CA 609. Evidence that was sufficient to prove violation of Sec. 21a-278 was, in this case, sufficient to prove violation of section. 85 CA 575.

Subsec. (b):

Cited. 231 C. 941; 235 C. 477; 239 C. 427; 241 C. 650. The state, through the testimony of police officers that the sale of narcotics took place within 1,500 feet of a high school, satisfied its burden of proof that the school was an operating secondary school within the meaning of section. 289 C. 496. Evidence that included large quantity of drugs found in defendant's vehicle, money strewn on passenger seat and fact that officers stopped defendant within 1,500 feet of a public housing project which is known for heavy drug trafficking was insufficient to establish defendant had requisite intent to sell drugs within 1,500 feet of the public housing project. 297 C. 621. Sentence suspending execution of 10-year sentence for violating Sec. 21a-277(a) without imposing a period of probation and adding mandatory 3-year sentence for violating this section for a total effective sentence of 13 years imprisonment, execution suspended after 7 years, with 3 years of probation was not illegal because this section mandates a 3-year nonsuspendable and consecutive sentence and the trial court's only option was to impose the probationary period in conjunction with its decision to partially suspend the execution of the sentence for violating Sec. 21a-277(a) after 4 years of imprisonment. 301 C. 716. A person may be convicted of sale of narcotics once he engages in any conduct set forth in Sec. 21a-240(50), including offering to sell narcotics, and the state is not required to prove that the actual physical transfer of narcotics occurred within 1,500 feet of a school, since it is sufficient to show that an offer to sell occurred within 1,500 feet of a school. 308 C. 43. Cumulative force of the evidence was not sufficient to prove intent to sell drugs within prohibited zone of housing project, and evidence was equally supportive of an inference that defendant intended to sell the drugs outside the prohibited zone or anywhere that the opportunity presented itself. 316 C. 514.

Cited. 38 CA 621; 42 CA 500; Id., 537; judgment reversed, see 241 C. 650; Id., 640; 43 CA 339. Is a separate substantive offense from Sec. 21a-278(b). 58 CA 592. Legislature intended possession with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of school and sale within 1,500 feet of school to be separate crimes. 66 CA 118. Evidence presented, i.e. testimony of expert witness that distance between school and boundary line of property on which the sale of narcotics took place was 1,430 feet and a photograph of the property with the point of sale indicated, was sufficient to support jury's finding that sale of narcotics was within 1,500 feet of property on which a public elementary school was located. 67 CA 643. Does not require use of certain language to meet requirement of being “identified as a child day care center by a sign posted in a conspicuous place”; whether a posted sign satisfies statute is a question of fact. 70 CA 255. Conviction for conspiracy to sell a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a public housing project reversed where trial court instructed that jury must find that conspiracy occurred within 1,500 feet of public housing project; the law is not concerned with where the plan was hatched, but with where the conspirators proposed to carry out its unlawful purpose. 73 CA 386. Trial court properly determined that defendant possessed narcotics with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school where defendant, upon being confronted by police, transferred drugs to a passenger in a motor vehicle; defendant's actual transfer of drugs to the passenger was in and of itself evidence of intent to sell. 101 CA 167. In enacting Subsec., the legislature intended to create a separate substantive offense and not merely a penalty enhancement provision. 112 CA 349. Section is not impermissibly vague because it provides adequate notice that the act of agreeing to distribute drugs while in the protected area, even though the drugs might be distributed outside the protected area, is enough for a conviction for either conspiring or attempting to distribute drugs under section. 124 CA 9. Evidence showing that defendant delivered crack cocaine to purchaser during ride in defendant's automobile, which traveled within and in excess of 1,500 feet of a school, was insufficient to fulfill state's burden of proof that the delivery of drugs occurred within the 1,500 foot zone. 127 CA 264; judgment reversed, see 308 C. 43. Definition of “public housing project” not void for vagueness. Id., 654. Mere speculation about the precise location or locations where defendant intended to sell marijuana is insufficient to support a conviction for possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a public school. 134 CA 232.

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