Anyone in the Syracuse area who has had a bad cold in his or her lifetime has likely tried taking Sudafed. The nasal decongestant is the most popular brand of the drug pseudoephedrine and many people find it very effective for treating stubborn cold symptoms. However, the cold medicine has been used for another purpose as well--to manufacture methamphetamine.
Drug Enforcement Administration investigators in Madison, Oneida and Oswego counties recently carried out raids and arrested 16 people on drug charges related to the possession of pseudoephedrine. Two others were arrested in relation to the same case on Wednesday.
In total, a federal jury has indicted 24 people in the three-county methamphetamine manufacturing case. They all face charges related to possessing pseudoephedrine while knowing it would be used to make meth.
The charges stemmed from their alleged purchases of the cold medicine at area pharmacies. Area pharmacies are required to keep logs of pseudoephedrine purchases and there are daily and monthly legal limits.
The level of drug charge each person faces will depend on the circumstances of their alleged involvement and their individual criminal records. But anything from a misdemeanor drug possession charge to a felony drug crime can result in very severe penalties. In this case, it appears the charges could result in sentences including anywhere from eight to 12 years in prison.
Whenever a case involves an extensive investigation and raids, such as this one, it is important for criminal defense attorneys to ensure the chain of evidence is legitimate and the search and seizure process was lawful.
For those charged with first offenses, drug treatment programs and other options are often considered. For those with a criminal record, a skilled drug crimes defense attorney will be able to present a defense strategy that will result in the best possible outcome in a given case.
Source: Syracuse.com, "Two more arrests in three-county meth case," John O'Brien, June 14, 2012