Drug crimes are among the most common crimes that are brought to criminal court in Illinois. Methamphetamine, or “meth,” remains a popular drug with a large following and a high street value, making meth producers and dealers prime targets for law enforcement. While most people are aware that possessing or distributing meth is illegal, it may come as a surprise to some that even the possession of meth ingredients may be a felony crime in Illinois. As a recent case from Illinois demonstrates, the possession of meth ingredients, or “meth precursors,” is a very serious crime that can be met with harsh penalties and consequences.

Earlier in September, a 23-year-old man was driving outside of a nuclear plant on Route 53 and Vernon Drive when police officers spotted him. ABClocal.go.com reports that Adam J. Baker was driving with tinted windows, which prompted police to follow his vehicle to the Braidwood Nuclear Station, where he stopped in the parking lot. The police officers questioned Mr. Baker, who said that he was an employee of the nuclear plant and was arriving for his work shift. Deputies did not believe Mr. Baker’s story because he, in fact, did not have an identification badge to work at the plant, and was not wearing a shirt.

Police officers questioned Mr. Baker further and determined that he had given them an alias because his license is suspended for failing to appear in court in DuPage County. In the process of having Mr. Baker’s vehicle towed from the scene, officers asked him if it contained any contraband. Mr. Baker admitted that there were chemicals to make meth inside the vehicle.

Authorities retrieved xylene, denatured alcohol, pseudoephedrine, Epson salt, and muriatic acide from a box in Mr. Baker’s vehicle that also held other meth making supplies. Mr. Baker was ultimately charged with possession of methamphetamine ingredients, manufacture of methamphetamine, and obstruction of justice. He was booked into the Will County Jail and is held on a $50,000 bond.

According to the Illinois Attorney General’s website, the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act became effective on September 11, 2005. The purpose of the act was to strengthen state laws in regards to the production, distribution, and use of methamphetamine, in order to curb the meth epidemic in Illinois.

Part of the MCCPA codified in 20 ILCS 646/20 criminalizes the possession of methamphetamine precursors. Under that law, it is a crime to knowingly possesses, procure, transport, store, or deliver any methamphetamine precursor or substance containing a meth precursor with the intent to manufacture meth. Violation of the law is a felony crime, the severity of which increases with the amount of meth precursor possessed, procured, transported, stored, or delivered. For example, less than 15 grams of precursor is a Class 2 felony, while between 30 and 150 grams is a Class X felony.

Drug crimes are seriously prosecuted in Illinois, even in the case of first time offenders. If you have been charged with violating Illinois criminal laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.