It is a federal offense to knowingly or intentionally manufacture illicit drugs or controlled substances without proper licensing, and any person convicted of drug manufacturing in federal court potentially faces a lengthy prison sentence, considerable fines, and a criminal record.

Having a federal drug manufacturing conviction on your record can follow you for the rest of your life, possibly affecting your personal relationships, professional licensing, future employment opportunities, child custody rights, and even your immigration status.

If you have been charged with federal drug manufacturing or drug trafficking, your future hangs in the balance.

Contact our knowledgeable Orange County criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group today to schedule your free initial consultation.


One of the main reasons penalties for federal drug crimes are so harsh is because mandatory minimum sentencing applies to many federal criminal cases.

Set by Congress, mandatory minimum prison sentences are most often associated with drug crimes, but they can also apply to weapons crimes and sex crimes pros0ecuted in federal court.

What that means is, whether the judge overseeing your federal case believes you deserve a lengthy prison sentence or not, he or she will have little say in sentencing if a mandatory minimum sentence applies to your criminal offense.

With this in mind, it is in your best interest to hire a defense attorney with federal court experience any time you are facing federal criminal charges, especially for drug crimes like drug manufacturing.

Negotiating with the prosecutor to obtain a reduction in charges is common in state court, but getting charges reduced or dismissed is far more difficult in federal court, which is why having an experienced defense attorney on your side is critical.

The main objectives of a good criminal defense attorney are to advocate on your behalf, ensure that you understand the charges you are facing, and help you take on the federal criminal justice system.

With more than 60 years of combined criminal defense experience, our attorneys at Seyb Law Group have the skill, knowledge, and tenacity necessary to challenge your federal drug manufacturing charges and help you get the best possible outcome in your criminal case.

We recognize the fact that each drug manufacturing case is different, with unique circumstances that can influence prosecution and sentencing, and we believe in giving clients the personalized attention their drug crimes case deserves.

We also understand how devastating a “guilty” verdict would be for you and your family, and we will do everything in our power to help you avoid a criminal conviction.

Consult Seyb Law Group today for a free evaluation of your federal drug manufacturing case.


The crime of drug manufacturing occurs any time a person or group of people produce or attempt to produce an illicit drug or controlled substance, like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or LSD.

The manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs is a crime in every state, but there are certain factors that can elevate drug manufacturing to a federal offense, including the amount of the drug manufactured, where the drug manufacturing took place, whether the drug manufacturing is part of a major drug operation, and whether the defendant has a previous conviction for a federal crime.

A conviction for federal drug manufacturing carries significantly more severe penalties than a conviction for a drug manufacturing crime prosecuted at the state level, and this type of federal crime can be filed against an individual involved in any step of the production process.

Even individuals who provide certain chemicals or specialized equipment used in the manufacture of illicit drugs or controlled substances, and those who control manufacturing facilities or who offer to help manufacture drugs for another person, can be charged with the crime of drug manufacturing under federal law.

Federal Drug Manufacturing 21 U.S.C. § 841

Over the past several decades, the United States government has been fighting a so-called “war on drugs,” and in an effort to put a stop to the ever-growing drug trade, the government has taken an aggressive approach to investigating and prosecuting federal drug crimes like drug manufacturing, imposing harsh penalties on individuals convicted of such crimes.

If you are arrested for manufacturing illicit drugs or controlled substances in Orange County, you could face criminal charges under state or federal law.

Section 841 of Title 21, United States Code, is the federal law that prohibits the manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs or controlled substances.

Under 21 U.S.C. § 841, it is a crime to knowingly or intentionally: manufacture, distribute, dispense (or possess with the intent to distribute or dispense) a controlled substance; or create, distribute or dispense (or possess with the intent to distribute or dispense) a counterfeit substance intended to be passed off as a drug.


As a federal crime, the manufacture of an illicit drug or controlled substance carries steeper penalties than it would as a state crime.

But still, the punishment you face for a federal drug manufacturing conviction depends on several factors, including the type of the controlled substance in question and the quantity you are accused of manufacturing, as well as if any weapons were found at the manufacturing location or if any minors were present.

At the very least, a federal conviction for manufacturing an illicit drug or controlled substance carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison.

However, if you are found guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance in the following quantities, you could face a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison and up to $5 million in fines, as an individual, or up to $25 million in fines if you are part of a group or organization:

  • Cocaine (base): 28 grams or more
  • Cocaine or ecgonine: 500 grams or more
  • Heroin: 100 grams or more
  • Marijuana: 100 kilograms or more, or 100 plants or more regardless of weight
  • Methamphetamine: five grams or more of methamphetamine, or 50 grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine
  • LSD: one gram or more
  • PCP: 10 grams or more of PCP, or 100 grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of PCP

There are certain circumstances that can result in increased penalties for a federal drug manufacturing conviction.

For instance, if you are found guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance or a counterfeit substance meant to be passed off as a drug, and someone dies as a result of using the substance, you could face an enhanced sentence of life in federal prison.

Or, if you are found guilty of manufacturing what might be considered “excessive” quantities of the controlled substances listed above, you could face a sentencing enhancement of an additional 10 years or an additional sentence of life in prison, plus a potential fine of up to $10,000,000 for an individual, or up to $50,000,000 for a group or organization.


Unlike California state drug crimes, which are prosecuted by a district attorney, federal drug manufacturing crimes are prosecuted by a United States Attorney with what may seem like endless resources and the motivation to prosecute your case to the fullest extent of the law.

And because parole is not an option in federal criminal cases, you will be forced to serve 85-90% of your prison sentence before there is any possibility of being released to a halfway house.

Federal drug crimes cases tend to be high-profile criminal cases and you can be sure that the federal prosecutor will use every trick in the book to get a “guilty” verdict.

However, it is important to remember that the burden of proof in a federal drug case is the same as in a state case; in order to get a federal drug manufacturing conviction, the U.S. Attorney will have to prove each of the following elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You manufactured, distributed, or dispensed (or possessed with the intent to distribute or dispense) a controlled substance; or
  • You created, distributed, or dispensed (or possessed with the intent to distribute or dispense) a counterfeit substance; and
  • You committed one or more of these acts knowingly or intentionally.

Best Defense Strategies in Federal Drug Manufacturing Cases

With the way the federal government has targeted federal drug offenders and with the harsh mandatory minimum sentencing that applies to such offenses, federal drug crimes cases may seem hopeless, but you may still be able to avoid the legal repercussions associated with a drug manufacturing conviction.

Your likelihood of securing a favorable outcome in your case increases significantly when you hire an experienced federal drug manufacturing defense attorney with a history of success.

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group may be able to present one or more of the following defenses on your behalf, in order to fight your federal drug manufacturing charges:

  • You did not know that the drug was a controlled substance
  • You did not manufacture enough of a controlled substance to be charged with a federal offense (although you could still be charged with the crime of Orange County drug manufacturing)
  • You were the victim of entrapment by law enforcement officers
  • The police failed to follow proper procedure during or after your arrest
  • The controlled substance in question was obtained during an illegal search
  • You were falsely accused of drug manufacturing


There are a number of important differences between federal criminal cases and state criminal cases in Orange County.

In a federal drug manufacturing case, in addition to the specific factors that elevate the crime from a state offense to a federal offense, and the enhanced penalties resulting from a federal conviction, the opposition you will face in federal court will also be different from what you would typically see in a state case.

Federal agencies like the FBI and DEA tend to have bigger budgets than local law enforcement agencies and can therefore take every measure to aggressively and successfully prosecute a drug manufacturing crime.

As soon as a federal drug manufacturing arrest is made, the prosecution will begin gathering evidence and putting together what could prove to be an airtight case against you.

With this in mind, any time you are facing federal charges for drug manufacturing, your first course of action should be to retain qualified legal counsel.

Only with a criminal defense attorney on your side who has experience handling federal drug manufacturing cases can you be sure that your rights are protected and that your best interest is being represented.

By hiring an attorney the moment you are arrested, you can begin building a solid defense immediately and thereby significantly improve your chances of getting a favorable outcome in your case.


Being charged with any criminal offense can be stressful and frightening, and this is especially true for individuals accused of violating federal law, particularly when such violations warrant mandatory minimum prison sentences and a conviction could result in imprisonment in federal prison for life.

If you or a loved one is facing federal charges for drug manufacturing or distribution, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

A skilled lawyer with experience defending federal drug crimes cases may be able to get your charges reduced to a lesser offense with less severe penalties or may be able to get your case dismissed altogether.

Contact Seyb Law Group today to discuss your federal drug manufacturing case with a knowledgeable and aggressive Orange County criminal defense attorney.

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