Methamphetamine Trafficking & Distribution
Michigan Drug Trafficking Lawyers Protecting Your Rights & Freedom
Crystal meth is a synthetic stimulant drug that has been steadily growing in popularity across the country. One reason for its rising popularity is that it is seen as a cheaper alternative to other addictive stimulants with an equally intense high. The federal government made it unlawful in 1970 and it is presently a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a high potential for physical and psychological abuse and dependence.
Meth offenses are the second most common federal drug offense behind only cocaine, accounting for 24% of all federal drug crimes.
The FBI, DEA, and Border Patrol are the main federal law enforcement agencies that investigate meth possession distribution and trafficking. A majority of federal meth cases involve between 5 and 10 pounds of meth. A conviction for 5 or more grams of pure meth 50 or more grams of a mixture containing meth carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. The average sentence for meth trafficking, distribution, and manufacturing is about eight years.
To prove a conspiracy, the government must prove that it was participated in knowingly. Therefore, if someone is charged with conspiracy to manufacture 500 grams or more of meth, a 10-year minimum sentence, the government must prove that the defendant knew of the entire 500-gram conspiracy which may be difficult to do.
Manufacture of methamphetamine requires large amounts of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine which are the main ingredients in over-the-counter cold medications such as Sudafed and Claritin. To stop the unlawful manufacture of meth and the purchase of these medications for meth production, Congress enacted the Combat Methamphetamine Act (CEMA) in 2005. This act required daily and monthly sales limits, sales logbooks, and placement out of direct customer access to these medications.
Using several people to purchase small amounts of these items to avoid detection and CEMA for meth production is called smurfing. Federal prosecutors use the conspiracy laws to prosecute all persons that are involved including all persons engaged in smurfing.
Similarly, federal prosecutions often target simple possession of ingredients for methamphetamine (precursors). They would have to prove that the possession of the precursors amounts to a conspiracy to manufacture the drug.
There are scientific defenses as well. The federal government will depend upon a forensic scientific analysis to determine the amount of meth and its purity. An independent expert must always evaluate this chemical analysis evidence. Oftentimes, the government will argue the meth is pure when in fact it is not. Further, the forensic analysis may be flawed or incorrect. Barton Morris has extensive training, experience, and hands-on work of the chemical analysis of drugs in their solid dose form. He has used the same equipment used by federal forensic scientists and the accompanying software. Michigan Drug Trafficking Attorney Barton Morris has been able to create effective defenses using science that other attorneys who do not have the knowledge could not. Further, the government must prove the defendant’s knowledge of the chemical contents of a mixture. A defense that has been successfully used by Barton Morris is that the defendant did not know exactly what they were in possession of. Many times, it is not enough only to believe that the substance is unlawful.
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