In June 2020, 70-year-old Gary Lynn Moyer was arrested in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, accused of being a “meth-lab mastermind” who used “smurfs” to buy supplies in exchange for his finished product.
Moyer was charged with operating a methamphetamine lab and possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, according to Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub. Authorities allege he “cooked” and sold meth out of his home, at about 4-and-a-half pounds of the drug with each production.
What types of consequences could Moyer and those in his position potentially face? Read on.
Pennsylvania Meth Laws
Meth has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its wide availability, relatively low cost, and highly addictive nature, and violations of methamphetamine laws carry stiff penalties in Pennsylvania.
Meth is categorized as a Schedule II controlled substance, which according to category descriptions means that it carries a high potential for abuse and is likely to lead to severe psychological or physical dependency. Pennsylvania has a zero-tolerance policy for meth, making it illegal to possess even small quantities of the drug, and it is also against the law to cultivate, distribute, deliver, sell, or transport it.
Operating a Meth Lab
Unsurprisingly, operating a meth lab is among the most serious of offenses. It is a second-degree felony and carries a potential penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Moreover, the defendant can be held responsible for paying the cost of cleaning up the meth lab in certain circumstances.
Meth Possession Laws
Meth possession charges and potential penalties depend upon the amount of the drug involved and whether there is an intent to distribute. Simple possession is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. The charge involves less than five grams of the drug, and the prosecution must show that the defendant possessed the drug by actually having it on their person or that the drugs were found in a place the defendant had control over (such as a car).
The crime of possession with intent to distribute (PWID) includes the prohibition of delivery, sale, manufacture, trafficking, and transporting meth. Based on the law's wording, there does not even need to be a transaction for this charge to apply.
One of the main factors considered in a PWID case is the amount of meth involved. For offenses involving 5 to 10 grams, defendants may face at least 3 years' imprisonment. For 10 to 100 grams, the potential penalty increases to 4 years' imprisonment, and for over 100 grams, defendants face at least 5 years' imprisonment.
Other potential evidence indicating an intent to distribute include the existence of distribution materials such as scales, packaging, multiple cell phones, etc., and also the defendant's previous drug offense history.
If you are facing charges related to methamphetamine possession, please contact contact the Lento Law Firm online or call (888) 535-3686 today to discuss your options.