During the past decade, concerns over the abuse of common over -the-counter drugs led to a federal law that requiring consumers to show their driver’s license when purchasing the pseudoephedrine.  The law, which passed in 2005, was a reaction to the rampant abuse of the substance—especially among cartels who began collecting large amounts of pseudoephedrine for  the production of methamphetamines.  Abuse of the drug became so widespread, that over the past few decades—even after the passage of the law—that names came into being to describe a common means of getting around the law.  One such means, dubbed “smurfing” continues to serve cartels, as makers of methamphetamine will pay as much as $30 for a $10 box of pseudoephedrine.

The federal law currently limits individuals to 9000 milligrams or seventy-five 120 mg pills.  Smurfing occurs when manufacturers of methamphetamines work together to solicit groups of individual, who don’t need the over-the-counter drug, to purchase their monthly limit and return it the manufacturer, so he or she can avoid going over the 9000 mg limit.

In 2010, police arrested a man in Nacaogdoches, Texas for purchasing too much pseudoephedrine, who was suspected to be involved in the production of methamphetamines.  While a Colorado criminal law attorney may be of assistance to those who purchase too much of the now regulated over-the-counter drug, a criminal attorney may also be of assistance to anyone who manufactures , purchases with the intent to manufacture, sells, or simply possess the substance.  Criminal charges aside, anyone caught so heavily involved with this controlled substance may also be ordered to pay restitution to any entities involved in the emergency rescue that occurs during a crime or clean-up that occurs afterwards.

Penalties for these crimes vary greatly depending on one’s involvement with the substance.  For instance, in some cases, those convicted can spend anywhere from 18 months in prison as well as pay a $20,000 fine while others receive a 30-year sentence or a $1 million fine, or both.  A Colorado criminal attorney can certainly navigate all the nuances of these highly specific terrains, and as such, those convicted should seek legal help immediately.