Some controlled dangerous substances are man-made, such as methamphetamine and MDMA. They can be made in homes with the use of laboratory equipment and purchased ingredients. Making any type of controlled dangerous substance is illegal in New Jersey and incurs the same consequences as possessing and distributing these drugs. For example, selling more than five ounces of methamphetamine is a first degree crime and punishable by a jail sentence of up to twenty years and fines of up to $300,000. Making five ounces of methamphetamine, regardless of whether or not the defendant intended to sell it, carries these same penalties.
Methamphetamine has become more popular in recent years, partially because it’s fairly simple to make in home-based “meth labs.” To create crystallized methamphetamine, “crystal meth” as it’s known to users, precursor chemicals are mixed and left to react, which forms a layer of methamphetamine. This layer is then poured into cold acetone and left to crystallize. Once the crystals form from the reaction between the two substances, they are harvested and can be smoked. Although methamphetamine is one of the easier and more common substances to manufacture at home, it is not the only one. With the right equipement, ecstacy can be produced, heroin can be made from extracting morphine from the poppy plant, and crack cocaine can be created using cocaine and only a few other ingredients.
Just like with distributing drugs, the charges a defendant faces for manufacturing drugs is based on the type and amount of the controlled dangerous substance or substances he or she was found guilty of making. Controlled dangerous substances are categorized into groups called schedules. All the drugs in each schedule share common traits, such as potential for abuse and legal use in the medical field. See our page on drug distribution to learn more about the schedules of controlled dangerous substances and the drugs found in each.
Marijuana is not classified by schedule like other drugs, but there are penalties for cultivating, possessing, and selling it in New Jersey. These penalites are discussed in detail on our marijuana charges page.
Any person found operating a drug production facility that makes any Schedule I or II substance, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, lysergic acid diethylamide, flunitrazepam, gamma hydroxybutyrate, phencyclidine, or its analog, is subject to harsher penalties than if he or she had been caught simple distributing one of these substances.
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4 defines the penalties for owning or maintaining a controlled dangerous substance production operation. This is a first degree crime, which is punishable by a jail sentence of ten to twenty years. For operating a drug production facility, a guilty defendant must serve at least one third to one half of his or her sentence before he or she may be eligible for parole. The court has the right to override this rule and grant the defendant parole, though. In addition to the jail term, the court may require the defendant to pay a fine of up to $750,000 or up to five times the amount of money the drugs found in his or her facility at the time of the arrest were worth.
Financing or otherwise promoting an illegal drug production facility is also a first degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4. To find a defendant guilty, the court must prove that he or she knowingly and intentionally owned, maintained, operated, financed, promote or otherwise participated in the production of illegal substances at a facility set up or used specifically for that purpose.
If the drug or drugs in question were manufactured within a school zone, the defendant faces additional charges. A school zone is defined as any area within 1,000 feet of school property. More information about school zone violations can be found on our school zone violations page.
If you have been accused of manufacturing, selling or possessing a controlled dangerous substance in New Jersey, or if you’ve been accused of operating or maintaining a drug production facility, call Ron Bar-Nadav today to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options. Don’t wait – call 201-525-1555 today to find out your options and your rights. The best defense is a proactive drive and a strong attorney.