The War on Drugs is alive and well which means that federal and state governments are always on the watch for drug manufacturing and drug importation into the United States. They pay close attention to “persons of interest” and take every tip or suspicious activity very seriously.

It is because of this that if you end up in state or federal court for a drug-related charge, it may not end well for you if you don’t have good legal representation. You could end up being used as an example for other would-be offenders. You could end up serving a sentence of 10 years, 20 years, or longer.

But even if you get a short sentence and do your time, you still have to live with the consequences of having a criminal record and being a convicted felon. That can follow you for the rest of your life.

When You Need Representation for a Drug Manufacturing or Drug Importation Charge, Look for Experience and Commitment

The moment you find out or suspect that you are under investigation or as soon as you are arrested you need to get an attorney who has experience defending New York as well as federal drug crimes. You need someone who will fight for you and help you navigate the complex criminal justice system at the state or federal level – or both.

You need The Litvak Law Firm in your corner.

Mr. Litvak has the experience and knowledge to handle your case, whether you are in a state courtroom or facing federal charges. He is committed to ensuring that your rights are protected. When you need legal counsel, call him first.

Overview of Drug Manufacturing Offenses

The Crime of drug manufacturing is much more than actually mixing specific substances to create some drug. It covers anyone who participates in any way in the drug production process.

In order to effectively prosecute and get a conviction, it must be proven that:

  1. The defendant knew that he or she was in possession of a drug, or the chemicals required to manufacture a drug, AND
  2. The intent to manufacture

The person manufacturing the drug is not the only one who can be charged with a drug manufacturing crime. Having an in-house lab and illegal substances is a clear violation of the law, but the person or people who sell drug production equipment and precursor chemicals can also be found guilty. Even if you just instruct someone or help them, you could be found guilty.

Overview of Drug Importation Offenses

When a crime involves crossing state lines or US borders, it creates jurisdiction for federal prosecutors. Drug importation involves transporting illegal drugs and prescription medications over US borders. 

Any drugs and medications can only enter the United States if they comply with the Federal Controlled Substances Import and Export Act as well as other regulations that govern imports.

Bringing any kind of drug into the US without complying with the law is a federal offense that can carry very harsh penalties. 

Federal Drug Manufacturing and Drug Importation Offenses

There are several laws that deal with drug importation and drug manufacturing.

  • 21 U.S. Code § 952 – Makes it illegal to import into the customs territory of the U.S. any:
    • Schedule I or II controlled substance
    • Schedule II, IV, or V narcotic drug
    • Ephedrine
    • Pseudoephedrine
    • Phenylpropanolamine
    • Schedule III, IV, or V non-narcotic controlled substance 
  • 21 U.S. Code § 955 – Makes it illegal to have in your possession or bring onboard any aircraft or vessel that is arriving in or departing from the United States any:
    • Schedule I or II controlled substance
    • Schedule III or IV narcotic drug
    • Exception: The drug is lawfully part of the vessel’s cargo
  • 21 U.S. Code § 959 – Makes it illegal to manufacture or distribute any Schedule I or II controlled substance with:
    • It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance in schedule I or II or flunitrazepam or a listed chemical intending, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe that such substance or chemical will be unlawfully imported into the United States or into waters within a distance of 12 miles of the coast of the United States.

New York Drug Manufacturing Offenses

While marijuana has been legalized for certain amounts, it is still illegal to possess, produce, or grow it in large quantities, as well as grow other plants to produce an illegal controlled substance.

  • New York Penal Code § 220.50 – Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree – Makes it illegal to possess or sell certain items that may be used in the manufacture, mixing, preparation, packaging, or dispensing of narcotic drugs or stimulants. Includes:
    • Balances
    • Scales
    • Capsules
    • Vials
    • Adulterants
    • Dilutants 
  • New York Penal Code § 220.60 – Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances – Makes it illegal to possess precursors of controlled substances with intent to manufacture a controlled substance. Precursors include:
    • Carbamide (urea) and propanedioc and malonic acid or its derivatives, or
    • Ergot or an ergot derivative and diethylamine or dimethylformamide or diethylamide or
    • Phenylacetone (1-phenyl-2 prompnone) and hydroxylamine or ammonia or formamide or benzaldehyde or nitroethane or methylamine.
    • Pentazocine and methyl iodide or
    • Phenyl acetonitrile and dichlorodiethyl methylamine or dichlorodiethyl benzylamine or
    • Diephenylacetonitrile and dimethylaminoisopropyl chloride or
    • Piperiding and cyclohexanone and bromobenzene and lithium or magnesium or
    • 2,5-dimethoxy benzaldehyde and nitroethane and a reducing agent
  • New York Penal Code § 220.70 – Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree – Makes it illegal to possess methamphetamine manufacturing material including a precursor, a chemical reagent, or a solvent with the intent to use or have the knowledge that someone else intends to use it to illegal produce, manufacture, or prepare meth.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.71 – Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree – The person is guilty of this crime if he or she is in criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree (see 220.70) and has been convicted previously within five years of criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.72 – Criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine – The person is guilty of this crime if he or she is in possession of a precursor and a solvent or chemical reagent and has intent to use it in the manufacture of methamphetamine or has knowledge that someone else intends to use if to manufacture methamphetamine.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.73 – Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree – Makes it illegal to manufacture Methamphetamine which includes knowingly possessing laboratory equipment and certain chemical substances and intending to use them for the manufacture of meth.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.74 – Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree – A person is guilty of this crime if:
    • Illegally manufacture methamphetamine in the third degree (220.73) in the presence of someone who is age sixteen or younger if the person who is committing the act is at least five years older than the person who is sixteen or younger.
    • Illegally manufacturing methamphetamine in the third degree (220.73) and has been convicted of criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine, manufacturing material, unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material, methamphetamine manufacture in the third degree, methamphetamine manufacture in the second degree, or manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree within the preceding five years.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.75 – Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree – A person is guilty of this crime if they commit the crime of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree and has previously been convicted of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree, unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree, or unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree within the previous five years.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.76 – Unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material – A person is guilty of this crime when they know that their actions are in furtherance of the manufacture of methamphetamine or a methamphetamine operation and they knowingly dispose of or possess with intent to dispose of a dangerous or hazardous material under circumstances that create a substantial risk to human health or safety or a substantial danger to the environment.

Penalties for Federal Drug Manufacturing and Drug Importation Offenders

Federal penalties for drug manufacturing and drug importation are severe. 

A first-time offender who illegally imports drugs faces a minimum of 10 years in prison. They can incur a life sentence if they illegally import:

  • One kilogram or more of a substance containing heroin
  • Five kilograms or more of a substance containing coca leaves, cocaine, cocaine salts, and isomers
  • 280 grams or more of a substance containing cocaine base
  • 100 grams or more of PCP, or one kilogram or more of a mixture containing PCP
  • 10 grams or more of a substance containing LSD
  • 400 grams or more of a substance containing fentanyl
  • 1,000 kilograms or more of a substance containing marijuana
  • 100 grams or more of methamphetamine, its salts, or isomers; or one kilogram or more of a substance containing meth or its salts or isomers

If someone was killed or seriously injured because of the crime, or if the offender has a prior drug conviction, the minimum sentence is 20 years in prison.

A sentence with a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison is incurred if the offender imported:

  • 100 grams or more of a substance containing heroin
  • 500 grams or more of a substance containing coca leaves, cocaine, cocaine salts, and isomers
  • 28 grams or more of a substance containing cocaine base
  • 10 grams or more of PCP, or 100 grams or more of a mixture containing PCP
  • One gram or more of a substance containing LSD
  • 40 grams or more of a substance containing fentanyl
  • 100 kilograms or more of a substance containing marijuana
  • Five grams or more of methamphetamine, its salts or isomers; or 50 grams or more of a substance containing meth or its salts or isomers

Even smaller amounts of the drugs carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

Drug manufacturing is usually a felony. This typically carries a sentence of at least a year in prison and a maximum of ten years as well as substantial fines that can reach $25,000 or more.

Penalties for Drug Manufacturing Offenders in New York

The penalties for drug manufacturing in New York are steep.

  • New York Penal Code § 220.50 – Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree – Class A misdemeanor – Up to 12 months in jail.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.60 – Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances – Class E felony – 12 months to 48 months in jail.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.70 – Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree – Class A misdemeanor – Up to one year in jail.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.71 – Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree – Class E felony – 12 months to 48 months in jail.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.72 – Criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine – Class E felony – 12 months to 48 months in jail.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.73 – Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree – Class D felony – 12 months to 84 months in jail.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.74 – Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree – Class C felony – 12 months to 180 months in jail.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.75 – Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree – Class B felony – 12 months to 300 months in jail.
  • New York Penal Code § 220.76 – Unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material –Class E felony – 12 months to 48 months in jail.

The sentences for these crimes are serious. For instance, a Class B felony has a maximum prison sentence of 25 years and a maximum fine of $30,000 for the first offense. If it is a second-degree offense, it is usually prosecuted as a Class B or Class C felony. The distinction is dependent on whether the person has a prior felony record or not. And those penalties are even harsher.

Drug Manufacturing and Drug Importation Defenses

There are several defenses that a criminal law attorney may use to defend his or her client. The first is that the prosecution must show that the person knew about the crime and that their part in it was contributing to the crime, or that they were helping someone commit a crime. The other thing the prosecution must prove is that the defendant had the intent to commit the crime. If a defense attorney can establish the absence of either then the client will be acquitted. 

Other defenses include:

  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • Mental disease or defect
  • Entrapment
  • The person did not possess the drugs
  • The person did not know that the items they are accused of possessing were in their possession

If you are facing a drug manufacturing or drug importation charge at the federal level or in the state of New York, you are facing a very serious charge. Don’t try to handle it on your own. You need an attorney who is experienced and will aggressively represent you to ensure that your rights are protected. You need the Litvak Law Firm. Mr. Litvak is a New York criminal defense attorney, and he will fight for you. Call (718) 989-2908 for your free initial consultation. Get help, get representation, get the Litvak Law Firm on your case.