I am seeing an uptick in investigations and filings into importations of gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL) into California. Importations may sound like a strong word, but that’s how it is viewed under California law. Ordering GBL on a website and having it sent to you in California is illegal under California state law and federal law. GBL is a Schedule 1 drug in the United States, so while you can’t have it sent anywhere to you in the United States, we’re going to focus on California law.
First of all, I know that GBL is legal in the UK and other European countries, and not outright illegal. I also know that there are websites in Europe that will send you GBL directly to California. These are easily accessible mainstream websites (not on the “dark web”). They’ll gladly take your credit card information and send it to you without any warning that you are importing an illegal narcotic into the United States. Law enforcement knows this too.
Local law enforcement in Los Angeles County is working with Customs and Border Protection to flag shipments from these overseas GBL distributors. The federal authorities notify local law enforcement, usually the Los Angeles Sheriff Department, to investigate the package. Of course, many people do not realize what they’re doing is illegal or the seriousness of the offense.
And make no mistake, this is serious stuff. Under California law, shipping GBL into the state is a violation of Health and Safety Code 11352. It is an offense that carries a minimum prison term of 3 years.
If you are under investigation for importing GBL into California, first of all, do not speak with anyone from law enforcement without first consulting an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Remember: anything you say can and will be used against you. Do not answer any questions if an investigator comes knocking on your door. Politely decline to answer questions without speaking with an attorney, get their information, and respectfully inform them that an attorney will be in touch. And then, yes, you’ll need to hire a defense attorney.
Second, if you are charged with importation of GBL, do not panic. You need to get in touch with an attorney who is experienced in federal drug crime defense, has familiarity with the court in which your case is being prosecuted, and understands how it works.
Bottom line: If you or a loved one have a GBL case or questions about federal drug crimes, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg for a free consultation. I can be reached at (323) 633-3423 or via the secure contact form on this page.