Drug trafficking charges mean that the person was found with a significant amount of drugs. Criminal laws in California do not distinguish between dealing and trafficking but those in the law enforcement sector such as judges, prosecutors, and police do typically treat those cases deemed as trafficking more harshly than they do others. Very often, these charges indicate that there was more found than simply exchanging money and drugs.
This type of charge gives a clear indication that the crime was more than just a sale of a large amount of drugs and these factors include money laundering, smuggling illicit drugs across borders and even the manufacturing of those drugs. When operations include bringing those drugs into the state of California from other countries or states, it requires the use of an organized network. Very often the law enforcement agencies will work together and when they successfully seize drugs and make large arrests, it often results in news headlines.