The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Methamphetamine Lab Busted in Buena Park

We don’t normally cover methamphetamine labs. They’re so common that hearing about them is akin to hearing that someone was shot in Chicago. It happens. It’s not really news. Nonetheless, we really haven’t covered the laws regarding meth production lately, so as a service to the public, and in homage to the great Breaking Bad, here’s the skinny (Pete).

According to the Orange County Register, SWAT officers raided a house in Buena Park last night after a business rival anonymous tipster notified the police of ongoing sales of large quantities of drugs at the house. The search warrant was administered by the SWAT because drug dealers and manufacturers tend to be armed and those guys have a lot of sweet gear. When the cops arrived, they noticed the eau de meth and located meth and meth paraphernalia.

Seven people were arrested.

A meth lab was busted. Typical Wednesday, right? The only real surprise is that the lab was in Buena Park instead of Anacrime, er, Anaheim.

California doesn’t show much mercy to drug manufacturers. California Health and Safety Code 11379.6 punishes anyone who “manufactures, compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis” any controlled substance. That’s a pretty damn comprehensive statute.

Manufacturing a controlled substance, such as methamphetamine or crack, can result in a penalty of up to seven years in prison, plus whatever sentence received for the pile of rocks stashed in the corner.

In addition to punishing the actual manufacture of drugs, simply offering to manufacture drugs can get you tagged for five years of prison time under the same law.

Also, another provision of the HSC provides a sentencing enhancement of two years for manufacturing meth or PCP in a home where someone under the age of sixteen resides. If a child suffers great bodily injury as a result, such as in a typical meth lab explosion, the defendant can receive an extra five years in prison.

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