In this tight economy, making $50 from just buying a box of Sudafed can be an extremely attractive offer. That is what a growing number of people in the State of Michigan are realizing, according to law enforcement officials. These types of “quick bucks” are directly fueling an overwhelming drug epidemic in Southwest Michigan, causing families to fall apart, property values to fall, and prison cells to overflow.
Even though a state law passed in 2012 limits the amount of cold medicine products containing pseudoephedrine one can buy at a time, methamphetamine production in the Mitten state has shown little signs of stopping and has created a new type of criminal in Michigan.
State law requires those who buy cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine to show identification and have their names inserted into NPLEx, a police database, to monitor how much is being purchased at one time. Michigan limits a person to 3.6 grams per day and nine each month.
As one of the key components in manufacturing methamphetamine is found in cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, addicts pay others large sums of money to purchase these meds for them. Referred to as “smurfing,” this new type of drug deal is particularly profitable for the purchaser—a box of Sudafed has a street value of nearly $50, meaning significant gains for the buyer.
Despite the tougher monitoring laws, the creation of the “smurf” dealer is just one example of how law enforcement officials in Michigan have seriously struggled to damper meth production and use in the state. In fact, many argue that the result of the new law has been the creation of a black market for pseudoephedrine products, ultimately creating an entirely new type criminal. Many argue that in that sense, the law has made the increasingly desperate situation much worse.
Although there is no specific law in Michigan that makes smurfing illegal, if the purchaser knows that the product they’re buying is going to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, they can still be charged with aiding and abetting. Because of this, accusations of “smurfing” are incredibly serious, and could have potentially life-changing consequences. If you or someone you know has been accused of “smurfing” to manufacture meth, contacting an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney should be the very first step. Only with a skilled legal defense team can one overcome these very harsh charges, which could result in enormous fines and/or incarceration. The knowledgeable Detroit criminal defense lawyers at Nessel and Kessel Law can provide the legal advice and legal representation needed to prevent smurfing accusations from becoming permanent blemishes on one’s record.