Felony Charges for Cooking Concentrated Marijuana

A Utah man is facing felony charges after authorities responding to a fire at an apartment building discovered the tenant was cooking concentrated marijuana.

Mini lab

Photo by: Dr. Brainfish

Photo by: Dr. Brainfish

18 year old Michael Irey of Eagle Mountain wasn’t making pot brownies when he accidentally caught his kitchen on fire, he was extracting the THC from the marijuana and cooking it down into highly concentrated marijuana “dabs”. Dabs are similar to hash, yet they are more pure and extra potent. Because of the increased THC potency of dabs and even with the lesser potent hash oil and other forms of concentrated marijuana, the penalties for production are far higher than for marijuana that is left unaltered. The charges are so severe, manufacturing concentrated marijuana is considered to be operating a clandestine drug lab.

2nd degree felony for concentrated marijuana

When speaking of a clandestine drug lab, it is usually referring to either a meth or crack lab. However, a lab or kitchen where there is cooking or production of concentrated marijuana such as dabs or hash falls under the same category as a meth lab. Operating a meth, crack or concentrated marijuana clandestine lab is a 2nd degree felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

“Hazardous or dangerous material”

Photo by: Reuben Strayer

Photo by: Reuben Strayer

The reason making concentrated marijuana is punished as severely as making meth is explained generally in the Clandestine Drug lab Act. “ . . .because of its quantity, concentration, physical characteristics, or chemical characteristics (it) may cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality, an increase in serious illness, or may pose a substantial present or potential future hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise improperly managed.”

Know the laws for your state

With many states legalizing marijuana and others reducing their charges, it is important to know the specific laws for your state. For more information on Utah’s drug laws or to speak to an attorney about charges related to marijuana, contact a criminal defense attorney.

Marijuana Cultivation in Utah

Four young adults were arrested in Cache County, Utah for multiple drug charges including marijuana cultivation.

Photo by: Mark

Photo by: Mark

Drug Raid in Northern Utah

During a raid on a Logan Utah home on July 21st 2015, four people between the ages of 18 and 21 years old were arrested when officers arrived at the home in the early morning hours with a search warrant.  Located inside with the four individuals were two pounds of marijuana, mushrooms, and two marijuana plants.  Since the plants were found, marijuana cultivation will be added to the possession charges.

Illegal gardening

Whether it’s a mini garden consisting of a couple plants in a home closet or hundreds of plants spread across acres of land, marijuana cultivation is against the law in the state of Utah.  While neighboring states may be relaxing laws regarding possession and marijuana cultivation, Utah so far has not.  Those found guilty of marijuana cultivation can face up to five years in prison.

Law and penalties for marijuana cultivation

Utah code 58-37-8 states that “it is unlawful for any person to knowingly and intentionally produce, manufacture, or dispense, or to possess with intent to produce, manufacture, or dispense, a controlled or counterfeit substance.”  Any person found violating this law in regards to marijuana is guilty of a 3rd degree felony while repeat offenses would be 2nd degree felonies.

In due time

Excluding the nineteen states where marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes; four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use as well.  All of those states where recreational marijuana use is legal are surrounding Utah in the western United States.  It’s just a matter of time before the majority of the states including Utah have similar laws.  Until then, possession or marijuana cultivation is not worth the consequences.  For more information on marijuana laws, or to seek counsel regarding possession or marijuana cultivation charges, contact a criminal defense attorney.

Undercover Agents Plundered the Dread Pirate Roberts

Undercover agents Carl Force (DEA) and Shaun Bridges (Secret Service) are facing charges including money laundering and wire fraud after they plundered the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Photo by: Nicolas Raymond

Photo by: Nicolas Raymond

Who is this Dread Pirate Roberts?

Ross Ulbricht, AKA the Dread Pirate Roberts was owner of Silk Road – an online black market.  Silk Road was an internet platform where illegal drugs and other contraband were sold and purchased.  It ran on the darknet Tor, an anonymous network where users could browse, purchase, and sell without being tracked by authorities.  Regrettably for Ulbricht, Silk Road was tracked and about to be taken down…but not before it was plundered first.

Arr, stole his bitcoins they did

Undercover agents Carl Force and Shaun Bridges were both involved in a task force to bring down Silk Road and its creator, the infamous Dread Pirate Roberts (Ulbricht).  Force was working under the alias of Nob, a big time drug dealer and had been corresponding under that alias with Ulbricht throughout the investigation.  During the investigation of Silk Road, Force and Bridges commandeered the account of  Silk Road admin Curtis Green from Spanish Fork, UT that Force had recently arrested and used his account to steal bitcoins from Silk Road users. Ulbricht discovered that 350 thousand dollars’ worth of bitcoins were pilfered off his website and tracked the stolen funds back to Green’s account.

Dead men tell no tales

After speaking with a close confident and assuming that Green was in fact the one who stole from Silk Road accounts, Ulbricht decided that the scallywag must be dealt the ultimate punishment for the theft- death.  Ironically, he hired Nob (Force) of all people to kill Green.  Curtis Green was willing to cooperate fully with the authorities after he was arrested during a setup by Force, and especially when he heard about the hit that Ulbricht put out on him. Force and Bridges worked together with Green to stage the very realistic appearing torture and murder of Green.  Pictures were taken during the spectacle and sent to Ulbricht for confirmation of the hit.  Not only was the Dread Pirate Roberts satisfied, he paid Force a hefty amount of doubloons for the deed. There were 5 other hits by Ulbricht noted during the investigation, however no more evidence has been located.

Scrub the poop deck or walk the plank?

Ulbricht will find out on Friday is he is facing 20 years or life in prison for his kingpin role in the drug trafficking website.  An intelligent young man that used his talents poorly, Ulbricht begged the judge for leniency in an eloquently written, one and a half page letter. Ulbricht will definitely be serving at least 20 years in prison for his crimes, but he hopes to not spend the rest of his life behind bars.  That dream is a possibility seeing how he is not facing any charges of attempted murder. Why those charges are being left out, one can only assume.  It is possible that bringing those charges to the table will put further light on the warped dealings of the federal agents in this case.  So what is to be done for those crooked agents? At this time, both Force and Bridges are looking at federal charges of money laundering and wire fraud. Force is also facing charges of conflict of interest and theft of government property.

Batten down the hatches

Crimes via the internet are quickly evolving and bringing down savvy, curious computer users in its wake.  Dealing with websites that are run off hidden networks is dangerous and very often involve illegal activity.  If you are someone you know has gotten involved in illegal internet activity, contact a criminal defense attorney that understands the laws pertaining to internet crimes.