Methamphetamine is a popular and dangerous drug that has spread across the United States at a rapid pace. With the widespread use of this drug, and its dangerous effects, it is no surprise that drug crimes related to meth can be serious felony crimes. The war on meth is often played out in the news, with meth stories popping up day after day. One such story from this week involved the less-often discussed charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful waste disposal.
According to KFSV12.com, in late October in Metropolis, Illinois, police were notified of two suspicious people who were purchasing Pseudoephedrine at a pharmacy. The officers decided to watch the men, and saw them leave the pharmacy. The police then stopped the men and found other meth-making materials on them.
After discovering the meth-making materials on 54-year-old Robert. A. Smith, and 29-year-old Scott A. Smith, police obtained a search warrant for their home. At the home, enough evidence was gathered to charge the two men with possession of meth-making materials, unlawful meth waste disposal, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Illinois State Police Meth Response Team was required to come in to dispose of the meth material, which is hazardous, and to collect the evidence. The two Smiths are now being held at the county detention center.
It is likely that few people know that disposing of meth-making materials is a felony crime. Under 720 ILCS 646/45, a provision of The Methamphetamine Control and Protection Act, to “dispose” of something means, among other things, to abandon, deposit, dump, spill, place or leak methamphetamine into any land, water, or well so that it can enter the environment. A person is guilty of methamphetamine manufacturing waste when he or she knowingly burns meth manufacturing waste or disposes of it, knowing that it was used to make meth. Violation of the meth manufacturing waste statute is a Class 2 felony.
Drug paraphernalia under 720 ILCS 600/3.5, which is part of The Drug Paraphernalia Control Act, refers to any equipment, products or materials, other than meth manufacturing materials, that are used to grow, prepare, or use drugs. A person is guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia when he or she knowingly possesses drug paraphernalia with the intent to use or prepare drugs, including marijuana. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor that brings with it a minimum fine of $750. It is important to note that under the statute, a jury may use the proximity of drugs to the paraphernalia to determine whether the defendant knew that he or she possessed drug paraphernalia and intended to use or prepare drugs.
Illinois laws relating to drug crimes are complex and may be difficult to understand. If you have been charged with violating Illinois criminal laws, you should immediately speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review your case and help you understand the consequences that you may face. Contact a defense attorney at Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.