United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 03, 2023

§ 861.
Employment or use of persons under 18 years of age in drug operations
(a)
Unlawful acts
It shall be unlawful for any person at least eighteen years of age to knowingly and intentionally—
(1)
employ, hire, use, persuade, induce, entice, or coerce, a person under eighteen years of age to violate any provision of this subchapter or subchapter II;
(2)
employ, hire, use, persuade, induce, entice, or coerce, a person under eighteen years of age to assist in avoiding detection or apprehension for any offense of this subchapter or subchapter II by any Federal, State, or local law enforcement official; or
(3)
receive a controlled substance from a person under 18 years of age, other than an immediate family member, in violation of this subchapter or subchapter II.
(b)
Penalty for first offense

Any person who violates subsection (a) is subject to twice the maximum punishment otherwise authorized and at least twice any term of supervised release otherwise authorized for a first offense. Except to the extent a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided, a term of imprisonment under this subsection shall not be less than one year.

(c)
Penalty for subsequent offenses

Any person who violates subsection (a) after a prior conviction under subsection (a) of this section has become final, is subject to three times the maximum punishment otherwise authorized and at least three times any term of supervised release otherwise authorized for a first offense. Except to the extent a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided, a term of imprisonment under this subsection shall not be less than one year. Penalties for third and subsequent convictions shall be governed by section 841(b)(1)(A) of this title.

(d)
Penalty for providing or distributing controlled substance to underage person
Any person who violates subsection (a)(1) or (2) 1
1
 So in original. Probably should be followed by a dash.
(1)
by knowingly providing or distributing a controlled substance or a controlled substance analogue to any person under eighteen years of age; or
(2)
if the person employed, hired, or used is fourteen years of age or younger,
shall be subject to a term of imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine of not more than $50,000, or both, in addition to any other punishment authorized by this section.
(e)
Suspension of sentence; probation; parole

In any case of any sentence imposed under this section, imposition or execution of such sentence shall not be suspended and probation shall not be granted. An individual convicted under this section of an offense for which a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment is applicable shall not be eligible for parole under section 4202 of title 182

2
 See References in Text note below.
until the individual has served the mandatory term of imprisonment as enhanced by this section.

(f)
Distribution of controlled substance to pregnant individual

Except as authorized by this subchapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally provide or distribute any controlled substance to a pregnant individual in violation of any provision of this subchapter. Any person who violates this subsection shall be subject to the provisions of subsections (b), (c), and (e).

(Pub. L. 91–513, title II, § 420, formerly § 405B, as added Pub. L. 99–570, title I, § 1102, Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–10; amended Pub. L. 100–690, title VI, §§ 6452(b)(1), 6459, 6470(d), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4371, 4373, 4378; renumbered § 420 and amended Pub. L. 101–647, title X, §§ 1002(c), 1003(c), title XXXV, § 3599L, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4827, 4829, 4932.)
cite as: 21 USC 861