LAPD officers conducted a routine traffic stop at about 6:30 p.m. last Saturday in the Angelino Heights area. According to officers, the driver “appeared to be nervous” during the stop, and so the officers decided to conduct a search of the vehicle. In the back seat, they discovered a garbage bag filled with what appeared to be 14 foil-wrapped burritos. Upon closer inspection, however, the “burritos” were actually filled with methamphetamine; 25 lbs. of it. The driver was arrested on suspicion of the transportation of methamphetamine. During the search, officers also discovered a handgun.
The transportation of methamphetamine in California is covered under Health and Safety Code 11379 HS. The law specifically prohibits the transportation and/or sale of stimulants and other non-narcotic drugs, which includes methamphetamine as well as GHB (a common date-rape drug), Ketamine, and certain anabolic steroids. In order to be charged with violating HS 11379, one needn’t sell or transport methamphetamine via traditional methods. The prohibited means include:
Selling/exchanging for money, services, or anything else of value
Transporting from one location to another with the intent to sell it
Give it away or provide it to others
Administer the drug to someone else
Simply offering or attempting to perform any of the above
It’s possible to be charged with the transportation of methamphetamine even if the person doing the transporting never handled the drug itself. What counts is that the individual had control over the drug somehow, whether the drug was in their immediate possession or whether they had control over it via another individual.
Violations of Health and Safety Code 11379 HS are charged as felonies. According to the 2018 Los Angeles County Bail Schedule, bail for charges of violating 11379 HS amounts to $50,000.
When someone is convicted, they face between two and four years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. However, the sentence could be greatly enhanced if the defendant is found to have transported the drug over two or more county lines. When this occurs, the possible jail sentence increases to 3, 6 or 9 years. Last, if the weight of methamphetamine that was transported or sold is more than one kilogram (25 lbs. is a little over 11 kilograms), the defendant faces an additional three to fifteen years in prison.