Facing a federal indictment for criminal charges is frightening for clients, their families, their friends, and in some instances, business partners or other affiliates.
Our lawyers have wide-ranging experience in handling such cases and will provide you with fierce representation to defeat the prosecution’s case against you.
The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you or your affiliates committed the charged offenses. Our lawyers are prepared to defend you from the beginning of your case until acquittal! We are also prepared to negotiate a fair plea deal! Call Us Now!
What is “Methamphetamine?”
Methamphetamine is a powerful, man-made stimulant, that affects the central nervous system when used. If abused, methamphetamine can become addictive and debilitate its user.
On the street, methamphetamine is commonly referred to as “meth,” “crystal,” “ice,” “crank,” “speed” or “glass”.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has found traces of the drug inside other psychoactive drugs, such as MDMA and Ecstasy.
Methamphetamine Is Heavily Regulated
Methamphetamine drug abuse is both a domestic and international issue. Methamphetamine abuse is most rampant in Asia, the islands of the Pacific Ocean, and the United States of America. In the United States, methamphetamine abuse is particularly high in the west, southwest and central regions of the country.
In 2014, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated global production of stimulants like methamphetamine was around 500 metric tons per year. The U.N. approximates 24.7 million people abuse methamphetamine worldwide.
Pharmaceutical and biotech companies, along with individuals and organizations alike that are charged with operating minor, or largely scaled drug trafficking enterprises should contact our firm!
Our experienced lawyers know United States federal criminal law, and international criminal laws. We are ready to fight your prosecution, whether it is within a United States federal district court, or abroad!
Which Laws Regulate Methamphetamine?
The Convention on Psychotropic Substances
Clients should remember that methamphetamine is regulated domestically and worldwide. In 1971, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances produced a United Nations treaty in which the United States is a party.
The treaty allows only government approved medical and scientific uses of narcotics like methamphetamine. As a party to the treaty, the United States Congress must enact laws that satisfy the nation’s domestic and international obligations for regulating methamphetamine usage.
Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
In 1988, the United Nations convened once more at the Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which was designed to combat international drug trafficking and money laundering. The United States’ Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act or “Kingpin Act” aims to counter narcotics trafficking and related activities.
The Controlled Substances Act (CSA)
The most important regulation clients must be aware of is The Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA, cited as 21 United States Code §812, encompasses the regulations for controlled substances. The statute also provides penalties for violating the law.
Injectable liquids containing any quantity of methamphetamine are covered by 21 U.S.C. §812(c). All other methamphetamine substances are regulated under 21 U.S.C. §812(a)(3).
Congress designates methamphetamine as a Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substance. There are five schedules by which the United States classifies drugs. The classification of drugs by schedule is an indicator of the drug’s potency and potential danger.
What is a “Controlled Substance?”
A controlled substance is a stimulant or drug regulated by the government.
Our lawyers are qualified to consult with and represent you in federal court matters that may have international implications and consequences. Call Us Now!
Our lawyers have successfully defended clients in prosecutions resulting from alleged narcotics offenses under the Controlled Substances Act!
Is Methamphetamine Illegal?
Generally, it is unlawful to knowingly or intentionally possess methamphetamine, or any similar chemical used to manufacture versions of the drug. The sale and distribution of methamphetamine are also illegal.
“Possession” of Methamphetamines
A charge of simple possession of methamphetamine may come with imprisonment in federal custody for up to 1 to 3 years, and costly fines, depending on the circumstances of the case and client’s previous criminal history.
Our lawyers are ready to prove your innocence and mitigate any potential criminal consequences!
Clients accused of operating major trafficking syndicates should contact us as well!
“Continuing a Criminal Enterprise”
Continuing a criminal enterprise under the Controlled Substances Act §848 is also an unlawful activity. A criminal enterprise exists where one person, acting as the organizer, and working together with five or more people derives substantial income or other resources from the production, sale, and distribution or transfer of methamphetamine.
Continuing a criminal enterprise is a felony and may come with imprisonment of up to 20 and 30 years. In some cases, defendants have faced life imprisonment, or even the death penalty when such criminal transactions lead to the death of Federal, State, and other local law enforcement agents.
The fines for operating a criminal enterprise can range from $2 million to $10 million dollars!
The Case of Marcell Shavers.
On March 1, 2018, Shavers, age 28, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment without parole.
The case was prosecuted in United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
Another case from April 2015 occurred in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. It involved the dismantling of a methamphetamine distribution operation.
In that case, 14 defendants were indicted for distributing methamphetamine, along with weapons possession and other drug-related charges. These instances demonstrate the magnitude of a federal prosecution for unlawful activities involving methamphetamine.
However, what if your company or organization has a legitimate use for methamphetamine? How does federal law impact your activity?
Methamphetamine Medically Accepted Uses
The federal government recognizes that methamphetamine may have, albeit minor, medical and scientific utility. The common thread between Schedule II and III classifications of methamphetamine is that the drug, or other substances related to its creation, have currently accepted uses in the United States subject to severe restrictions.
In 2010 the Food and Drug Administration approved generic, Methamphetamine Hydrochloride Tablets to be produced by Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. The drug, Desoxyn, was created to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and obesity.
However, the manufacturing and distributing of methamphetamine for medically and scientifically accepted use are seriously regulated.
“Manufacturing,” “Distribution” and “Dispensing”
The statute’s mandate is clear: any person who manufactures or distributes any controlled substance, such as methamphetamine, or proposes to engage in that type of activity must register with the United States Attorney General. The registration must occur annually.
The Attorney General will approve registrants if it is within the public interest to do so. That means, if an individual or entity, like a pharmaceutical or biotech company has a medical or scientific use for methamphetamine benefitting the public, registration to manufacture, distribute and dispense may be granted.
For methamphetamine, the Attorney General will make certain considerations, including:
- Does the registrant maintain effective controls against the diversion of methamphetamine into illegitimate hands?
- Does the registrant comply with State and local laws?
- Does the registrant promote and develop new advancements in manufacturing methamphetamine?
- Does the registrant have a prior federal and state criminal conviction related to manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing controlled substances?
- Does the registrant have prior experience in the proposed activity?
Registration is also needed for the purposes of dispensing or proposing to dispense methamphetamine. The Attorney General will set the length of the registration period from 1 to 3 years. By registering with the Attorney General, individuals and companies can expect rules and regulations promoting government oversight and inspection of facilities.
Medical practitioners who dispense narcotic drugs like methamphetamine for treatment and detoxication treatment must obtain a separate registration.
There are a number of legal exceptions and intricacies for registering as a manufacturer, distributor, and dispenser of methamphetamine.
Clients can anticipate that our experienced lawyers understand these regulations. We have the most effective ways to guide you through the registration process. If it comes down to it, we also have effective ways to argue your innocence if accused of violating any regulations!
Violations and Prohibited Acts Related to Manufacturing Meth
Similar to individuals and organizations charged with possession, sale, and operating a criminal enterprise, registered entities are also subject to criminal prosecution for violating the Controlled Substances Act.
It is illegal for any registered person or entity to manufacture methamphetamine for purposes not expressly authorized by the registration. Additionally, it is unlawful to manufacture quantities of methamphetamine in excess of the quota set forth by the Attorney General.
Example from Overseas
In 2017, Belgian authorities brought criminal and civil charges against executives from three major Belgian pharmaceutical companies. The executives were charged with selling roughly 4 tons of chemicals to a Mexican drug cartel. The cartel then used the chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine.
Although this is an international case, it demonstrates the type of criminal liability one can be exposed to for distributing and dispensing drugs for illegitimate purposes.
Penalties for violating the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing provisions regulating methamphetamine can also result in civil fines. If an individual or company is being prosecuted in criminal court, imprisonment of up to 1 year or more may attach, if certain conditions are met for federal prosecutors and courts to assert criminal jurisdiction.
Penalties for Manufacturing and Distributing
Manufacturers and distributors can also face fines and imprisonment up to 10 years, if, while manufacturing methamphetamine or attempting to do so, and transporting other drugs and chemicals, creates a substantial risk or harm to human life. Clearly, the government emphasizes safety as the chemicals used to create methamphetamine can be volatile.
What About The Money? – High Profile Cases
The manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine are lucrative, both legitimately and illegitimately.
- Examples of Legitimate Manufacture and Distribution. In 2009, Mylan Inc.’s drug Desoxyn raked in approximately $9.3 million in sales. In the Belgian case referenced above, the methamphetamine capsules created by the Mexican cartel had a street value of approximately $370 million.
- Examples of Illegitimate Manufacture and Distribution. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, allegedly the largest trafficker of illegal methamphetamine and other narcotics into the United States, has an estimated net worth of $14 billion.
In illegitimate situations, violators will be fined and can face up to 10 years in federal prison.
Receiving Income – Directly or Indirectly
It is unlawful for any person who has received income, either directly or indirectly, from the manufacture, distribution and dispensing of methamphetamine, to use or invest that income for acquiring additional personal and real property.
Personal property includes tangible and intangible items, such as rights, privileges, interests, claims, and securities. Real property includes items growing on, affixed to, and found on land.
Personal and real property obtained from profits earned in the enterprise of illegitimately manufacturing, distributing and dispensing methamphetamine illegal is also subject to criminal forfeiture to government authorities.
How to Defend Against Forfeiture
The Supreme Court has provided defendants with ammunition against forfeiture provisions.
- In Austin v. United States, the Court held that the Eighth Amendment applies to federal asset forfeiture, and defendants could be protected from excessive fines, including the criminal forfeiture of personal and real property allegedly connected to illicit drug activity.
- Recently, the Court ruled in Timbs v. Indiana, the provisions of the Eighth Amendment also applied to the States under the Fourteenth Amendment, and that excessive fines including asset forfeiture may be unconstitutional.
Our lawyers are prepared to prove your innocence and insulate your property from the government’s reach!
Clients should be aware of other crimes that may result from illegitimate activity with methamphetamine.
Some offenses include:
- Money Laundering;
- Tax fraud;
- Weapons Possession; and
Clients must know that additional crimes and related charges can impact the amount of imprisonment and imposed fines.
Investigative and Prosecuting Authorities
The following government entities, investigate and prosecute individuals, and organizations for illegally manufacturing, distributing and dispensing methamphetamine:
- The Department of Justice
- The Department of Treasury
- The United States Attorney General
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Homeland Security Investigations
- United States Customs and Border Protection
- State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies
We Want to Help You Fight
Federal Prosecutions and Investigations
Call Us Now!
Why Do You Need Our Legal Representation?
The rise of psychoactive and opioid drug addiction in the United States is a major concern for law enforcement authorities and public health organizations. One drug, methamphetamine, is the second most frequently identified drug in narcotics cases after marijuana. Methamphetamine is the focus of this article and the criminal implications that result from its illegal manufacture, distribution and dispensing.
We understand that clients find themselves in situations where creating, selling, and transporting narcotics becomes a business venture. Clients should be aware of the collateral consequences involving imprisonment, penalties, and fines that result from such activity. If you become the subject of federal prosecution or investigation, our lawyers stand ready to zealously defend your rights and bank accounts!
Need A Federal Drug Attorney? – Call Us Now!
Violating the Controlled Substances Act as it pertains to methamphetamine comes with severe criminal consequences and financial implications.
Our lawyers are ready to fight for you in trial and other government investigations resulting from alleged violations of the Act.
We are available for consultations and are determined to provide you with the legal representation needed for your case!