Methamphetamine charges prey on cash-strapped senior citizens

If you think the only people being charged with methamphetamine charges are people living in rural Minnesota, you would be wrong. The face of meth use is growing to include all kinds of people and many people who are being charged in Minnesota and across the country on meth charges are not even using the drug, they are only somewhat related to the manufacture and sale of meth.

A growing phenomenon is called “smurfing.” Smurfing is a way to get past the laws that restrict how much pseudoephedrine an individual can buy, the main component of meth. In many states, pseudoephedrine is heavily monitored and stores in all states must store products with pseudoephedrine behind the sales counter after the 2005 Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act was passed. The Act also required stores to keep track of who purchased how much pseudoephedrine products.

So, one way to get past these laws is to use someone else to purchase the pseudoephedrine products for the manufacturer. A manufacturer may use several smurfers to collect pseudoephedrine products in order to get a sufficient amount to make his or her meth. The problem is, however, that smurfers may find themselves in trouble with the law.

A 60-year-old woman had been approached by meth producers to help them get their hands on pseudoephedrine. The woman, who was desperate for cash, started selling $10 blister packs for $50 to cooks in her area. Soon, however, she attracted the attention of state authorities because she had purchased a suspiciously high number of products with pseudoephedrine, which was enough to arrest and charge her with the promotion of manufacturing methamphetamine.

This story reminds us that it is not just meth users who are at risk of arrest and incarceration, but also those who have been exploited by manufacturers to help in the production of this drug.

Source: ABC 5, “Meth mom: I literally went from June Cleaver to this person was nuts,” Don Wade, Nov. 15, 2012

Discover more about methamphetamine crimes by visiting our Minneapolis drug charges page.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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