Possessing Drug Manufacturing Materials in Los Angeles

Ephedrine pillsIn recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of homegrown drug manufacturing operations uncovered by law enforcement agencies. Not only do these homemade labs produce a significant amount of illegal drugs such as methamphetamines, but they involve the use of highly reactive chemicals that have been known to cause massive explosions and fires resulting in injury and death. Not only is it illegal to manufacture controlled substances under California Health and Safety Code 11379.6 HSC, it is also against the law to merely possess drug manufacturing materials. Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11383 and 11383.5 HSC, it is a felony to possess drug manufacturing materials and those convicted can be sent to prison.

Illegal To Possess Chemical Precursors

Under this code section it is illegal to possess piperidine and cyclohexanone which are used to produce PCP in addition to methylamine and phenyl-2-propoanone which are used to make methamphetamine. It is also illegal to possess ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which can be used to produce methamphetamine.

Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine Possession

Many people involved in homemade methamphetamine labs purchase large quantities of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which can be found in over-the-counter cold medications. Sale of these medicines has become more controlled and now people who want to purchase cold medication must provide valid identification. They will be prevented from purchasing large quantities of this medication and will be flagged if they attempt to purchase cold medicines from different pharmacies in order to avoid detection.

Possessing drug-manufacturing materials is a felony level offense and those who are convicted can be sentenced to up to six years in prison. The Court can impose an additional consecutive two year sentence if the drug manufacturing materials were possessed in the same location as a minor under the age of 16 and the defendant can be sentenced to an additional five years if the possession of these material results in great bodily injury to a minor under the age of 16.

Defense for Illegal Possession of Materials for Drug Manufacturing

There are a number of defenses that may be applicable to a defendant who is charged with possessing drug manufacturing materials in violation of California Health and Safety Code Section 11383 and 11383.5 HSC. The defendant would not be guilty of this offense if he or she had a valid reason for possessing the chemicals listed and did not possess this material in order to produce methamphetamine or PCP. For example, it is not illegal for someone to buy ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in and of itself and the defendant may have a valid reason for purchasing large quantities of cold medication. However, the prosecution may use circumstantial evidence to show that the defendant possessed the material with the intent to produce a controlled substance.

In addition, if the material in question was discovered as the result of an illegal search or seizure, the defendant may have grounds to challenge the admissibility of the evidence. If there was no search warrant, the defense may file a motion to suppress evidence under California Penal Code Section 1538.5 PC if the search or seizure did not comply with the law. If successful, the Court may suppress the evidence and the prosecution will likely be unable to proceed. If the police had a search warrant, there may be grounds to have evidence suppressed if the warrant relied on a false affidavit or if the search went beyond what was allowed in the warrant.

If you or someone you know have been charged with possessing drug manufacturing material, it is imperative that you meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Michael Kraut is highly respected as one of the area’s top drug crime attorneys.

For more information about possessing drug manufacturing materials, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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