One California man is facing significant prison time after he was allegedly caught distributing methamphetamines in creative packaging. Police say that the 48-year-old man, accused of being a member of a street gang in Los Angeles, was found with thousands of dollars in meth. The drugs were packaged to look like 14 foil-wrapped burritos in order to draw attention away from the items. However, after being convicted on federal drug and gun charges, the man was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was also ordered to five yeas of supervised release and a mandatory assessment of $300.
The Los Angeles Police Department reported the arrest widely at the time, posting photos of the "burritos" that actually contained meth as well as cash and a gun confiscated from the man. The sentencing judge said that the packaging of the drugs indicated that they were intended for sale and distribution and also cited the man's prior convictions when imposing the sentence. The man was arrested at a traffic stop after he was pulled over by police who accused him of driving evasively and erratically. Police say that the man agreed to a search of the vehicle, where they found the 14 meth burritos in a black trash bag on the car floor.
Police say that the drugs had a street value of $27,000 to $40,000. The man was accused of methamphetamine possession with intent to distribute, possessing a firearm as a felon and possessing a firearm while engaged in drug trafficking. He was convicted in a one-day bench trial.
Even in less dramatic circumstances, a drug conviction can lead to serious consequences, including hefty fines, prison time and a felony criminal record. People facing serious drug charges can work with a criminal defense attorney to challenge police practices and evidence and aim for a favorable result.