Narcotic Manufacturing Defense
The DEA and the FBI are particularly aggressive in investigating large-scale narcotic manufacturing operations. The local United States Attorneys’ offices are likewise aggressive in prosecuting them. In contrast to drug possession and drug trafficking cases, narcotics manufacturing cases require a much more sophisticated and detailed knowledge of how narcotics are made. For example, federal prosecutors will argue that someone should go to prison for decades because they possessed a chemical that in certain circumstances can be used to make a drug like cocaine, heroin, or opium. That chemical, however, can also be used to make many substances that are not illegal.
Most criminal defense lawyers lack the detailed knowledge and experience to fully defend a narcotics manufacturing charge. This is especially true in deferral court where the prosecutor, jury, judges, and rules are different than they are in California state court, where most drug cases are handled.
At the Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg, we use our extensive federal court experience to aggressively defend people who have any involvement in a case in which someone is either under investigation or has been charged in a Southern California federal court with manufacturing narcotics such as heroin, opium, and cocaine.
What is a Narcotic?
The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. Section 802) defines narcotics broadly to include the following:
- Opium, opiates, and its derivatives.
- Poppy straw and concentrates of poppy straw
- Coca leaves
- Cocaine, its salts and isomers
- Ecgonine and its derivatives, salts, and isomers.
The definition of narcotics includes any compound or mixture than includes any combination of these drugs. Likewise, it includes a wide array of making these drugs or substances, whether it’s direct, indirect, by extraction from vegetable sources, or through chemical synthesis or a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis.
Penalties For Manufacturing Narcotics
The penalties for violating federal narcotics manufacturing laws depend in part on the drug involved, the quantities seized, whether use of the drug caused serious bodily injury or death, and whether the person charged has prior drug-related convictions. All the penalties are severe. Even a first conviction for manufacturing a relatively small quantity of a narcotic, where no injury or death results, is subject to a sentence of 20 years or more.
Federal Prosecutors Focus on Narcotics Manufacturing Conspiracies
Under federal law, any person who is found to be part of a drug importation conspiracy can be penalized as if they committed every crime committed by any member of the conspiracy. This is true even if someone’s individual actions are minor, or if they have never met anyone else associated with the conspiracy. Because manufacturing cocaine, heroin or opium is almost always a group activity, DEA and FBI agents as well as agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) often bring conspiracy charges against anyone who might be able to help prosecutors identify other potential members of the alleged conspiracy. They regularly encourage people to talk by telling them that they are “only witnesses.” The best advice in this situation is—don’t. Don’t talk to a federal agent without first having talked to a lawyer who is experienced in defending narcotics manufacturing cases in federal court.
Why an Experienced Federal Narcotics Importation Defense Lawyer Can Help
Local Expertise in Federal Courts. Given how extreme are the potential punishments under federal law for manufacturing cocaine, heroin, or opium, it is critical that you work with an experienced federal drug defense lawyer. Whether your situation involves the DEA, FBI, or ICE, or whether you may only be a “witness” in a narcotics manufacturing case, or have been accused of being more actively involved in a federal narcotics manufacturing conspiracy, the Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg will aggressively defend any narcotics manufacturing-related charge based on our extensive experience in Federal court.
For a free and confidential consultation, call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Jerod Gunsberg at (323) 633-3423 or get in touch via the secure contact form on this page. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.