In response to a surge in seizures of methamphetamine laboratories in New
York state, in 2007
the Assembly passed tough new laws outlawing the operation of facilities
used to produce illegal “chemical” drugs like methamphetamine
and its variants. Thus, anyone aspiring
to be like Walter White on Breaking Bad faces significant penalties for their criminal behavior.
The definitions provided in Penal Law 220.62 make this charge fairly all-encompassing
of any activity related to the operation of a drug laboratory. Indeed,
it is not only the “manager” of the operation that can be
held responsible; basically anyone and everyone that possesses or supplies
materials or acts in furtherance of the operation of a laboratory can
arrested and charged with the crime of Unlawful Clandestine Drug Operation
in the Second Degree (Penal Law 220.63). This charge is a Class C felony.
The First Degree charge (Penal Law 220.64, Class B felony) arises where
there are aggravating factors, such as repeat offending, health/safety/environmental
risks, the participation of a juvenile, or proximity to a school. Also,
the utilization of booby traps elevates a Second-Degree charge to the
Convictions for these charges carry potentially very significant prison
sentences, so a defense must be thorough and intelligent. Typically these
cases involve search warrants or wiretaps that can at least be challenged
with pre-trial motions. Also, these charges often involve multiple co-defendants
or conspiracy allegations, meaning that certain defendants can claim to
have been wrongfully included amongst the operators of the laboratory.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for Unlawful Clandestine Drug
Operation, you should strongly consider contacting the experienced criminal
defense attorneys at
Galluzzo & Arnone LLP. Their team of former prosecutors have successfully defended hundreds of
drug- and narcotics-related cases and can apply that winning experience
to your defense.
unlawful clandestine drug operation