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Drug trafficking, distributing, selling, and manufacturing are all offenses that can be charged at a state or a federal level. Drug manufacturing is when an individual or a group knowingly and intentionally manufactures a controlled substance. The manufacturing of illegal controlled substances can involve the mixing together of chemicals and can even include the growing and cultivation of certain plants such as marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, and other plants used in the drug-making process. The most commonly manufactured illegal drugs are methamphetamine, fentanyl, bath salts, and crack.
Individuals could be charged with drug manufacturing if they took part in any of the manufacturing processes. This includes several categories, such as:
Drug manufacturing can always be charged at the state level, but certain factors must occur for it to be charged in federal court. These factors include the type of drugs being manufactured and the relative amount, and whether the manufacturing was connected to a larger illegal drug operation.
Manufacturing charges go to the federal level when they are part of a large operation if the illicit drugs were being made in large quantities and if the process involved crossing state lines or borders.
Most individuals would face federal charges if a federal officer (the FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, or Secret Service) arrests them. Federal drug manufacturing charges usually carry harsher punishments after a conviction than similar convictions made on a state level, such as longer jail times, fines, and restitution. The more serious the crime, the heftier the punishment.
When an individual is convicted of federal drug manufacturing charges, they will be tried by a US federal prosecutor. To be convicted of the charges, the federal prosecutor must prove that the convicted person did one of the following acts:
As noted, the penalties faced by individuals charged with federal drug manufacturing are more serious than for those convicted at the state level. Certain factors are laid out in the Sentencing Guidelines, determining an individual’s punishment and length of sentencing. An individual convicted of manufacturing and distributing illegal drugs will face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison. Depending on other circumstances, punishment may increase in severity. Anyone facing federal drug manufacturing charges should consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away.
If an individual is caught manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance near a school, college, or federal facility, or if they are caught enlisting the aid of a minor or otherwise manufacturing drugs around children, the penalty could be enhanced. The presence or use of firearms could also enhance the penalties.
Another major factor determining the severity of punishment is the amount of drugs that were manufactured. If an individual or organization is convicted of manufacturing illegal substances of the types and amounts below, they could face 40 years in federal prison, fines up to $5 million for an individual, or up to $25 million for a group or organization.
Federal prosecutors have substantial resources at their disposal to secure a conviction. Federal convictions do not have parole, and most people convicted at the federal level serve their full sentence in prison. If you face federal drug trafficking charges, you could be facing serious jail time and hefty fines. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is your best chance at getting the charges against you reduced or dismissed. There are some common defense strategies in drug manufacturing cases that a skilled criminal defense attorney may argue on your behalf.
When facing criminal drug charges at the federal level, you need to build a solid legal team. Dennis E. Boyle, Attorney at Law, is a skilled criminal defense and federal crime attorney with years of experience practicing law in the federal court system and over 200 federal jury trials under his belt. He will work tirelessly to work as your advocate with competence, integrity, and attention to detail.