Police investigating a disturbance call early on New Year's Day discovered more than a pound of meth and $421,000 in cash inside the suspect's vehicle. Police responding to the call in southwest Oklahoma City found Elias Amado, 33, carrying items to his vehicle from a ransacked home that appeared to have been burglarized. When they searched the vehicle, they discovered two sacks containing the cash and five duct-taped packages appearing to contain drugs. Tests confirmed the presence of crystal meth in the packages.
Meth lab in Home
Police also checked the house, saying they were concerned for the well-being of any possible occupants, because the home looked as if it had been "ransacked violently." Amado told responding officers that he had been living in the house for a year, but that his wife recently left and he ransacked the house because he was angry about her leaving.
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug under the Federal drug classification schedule. Schedule II drugs are defined as follows:
- The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
- The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
- Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Under Oklahoma law, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, or Schedule I or II drugs, is a felony on the first offense, with the exception of possession of marijuana, a Schedule I drug. However, based on the quantity of the drug in possession or other circumstances, including the presence of scales, packing materials, and large amounts of cash, a drug charge may be increased to possession with intent to distribute or even drug trafficking. These more serious offenses include significant penalties, including the possibility of life in prison.
Drug Trafficking Laws in Oklahoma
Oklahoma drug trafficking charges may be levied against anyone in possession of more than 20 grams of methamphetamine. There are 453.59 grams in a pound, so the amount allegedly in the possession of Elias Amado is significantly more than the amount necessary to trigger the Oklahoma drug trafficking statute.
Drug trafficking in Oklahoma is punishable by four years to life in prison on the first offense, and is subject to fines ranging from $20,000 to $500,000. Second and subsequent offenses yield a six year minimum sentence and carry the possibility of life in prison without parole.
For more information about drug possession, distribution, and trafficking laws in Oklahoma click here.