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Manufacturing Illegal Drugs


Cultivating or manufacturing certain types of drugs is illegal under both state and federal law. Generally, charges of manufacturing a controlled substance are levied in state court, although it is also not uncommon for a person to face allegations of violating federal law. This can have serious repercussions, as federal sentencing guidelines tend to be particularly harsh when it comes to drug crimes. To start working on your own defense, please contact a member of our experienced federal crime legal team today.

Unlawful Acts  

Under federal law, a person can be charged with manufacturing an illegal drug if he or she:

  • Intentionally manufactures a controlled substance; or
  • Intentionally creates a counterfeit substance.

How a person is sentenced if convicted of one of these offenses depends in large part on:

  • The type of substance in question;
  • The amount of the substance in question;
  • Whether a person was injured as a result of the manufacturing of the substance;
  • Whether a defendant has a prior criminal record; and
  • Whether the drug was manufactured near a school or playground.

For instance, the penalties for manufacturing one kilogram of a substance that contains heroin, ten or more grams of a substance that contains LSD, 50 or more grams of a substance that contains methamphetamine, or 1,000 kilograms of a mixture containing marijuana are all the same, as these offenses are punishable by a minimum of ten years imprisonment. If serious bodily injury resulted from the use of the substance, however, a person’s sentence could be increased to a minimum of 20 years and a $10,000,000 fine. On the other hand, manufacturing 100 grams of a substance with heroin, one gram of a substance containing LSD, 100 kilograms of a mixture containing marijuana, or five grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine, will result in a lower sentence of five years.

What Qualifies as Manufacturing? 

When it comes to a criminal law setting, a person can be said to have manufactured an illegal drug if he or she is involved in any step of the production process. This includes:

  • Selling certain specialized equipment or chemicals to a third party who will use them to manufacture the drug;
  • Offering to help produce drugs; and
  • Using chemical processes to create LSD, methamphetamine, or cocaine.

Cultivation of a drug, such as marijuana, also qualifies as manufacturing, as does growing, producing, or possessing naturally occurring elements, including cannabis seeds and marijuana plants, to make a controlled substance.

Which Defendants are Charged in Federal Court? 

Whether a person is charged in federal court for manufacturing an illegal substance depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Whether a person was arrested by a federal officer;
  • Whether a person was arrested on federal property;
  • Whether a person was arrested after being informed upon;
  • Whether the defendant allegedly crossed state lines during the commission of the offense;
  • Whether a case is referred by state prosecutors to federal prosecutors; and
  • Whether a case involves large amounts of drugs.

Being charged with a drug crime like manufacturing in federal court can have serious consequences, as the penalties tend to be especially severe. Furthermore, judges are often forced to adhere to strict mandatory minimum guidelines when sentencing, so the penalties for conviction tend to be particularly severe.

Call Our Office Today  

If you have been charged with manufacturing illegal drugs in federal court, please call dedicated Miami federal crime lawyer Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. at 305-670-9919 to learn more about your legal options.


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Miami Criminal Attorneys

9130 South Dadeland Blvd
Miami, Florida 33156

Telephone: 305-670-9919
Fax: 305-670-9299

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