Can I Go to Jail for Selling Fake Drugs?

Getting in Trouble for Selling Drugs Without Ever Possessing Drugs in the First Place

Selling drugs is a recognized criminal offense. Unfortunately, less acknowledged is the fact that it is even illegal when the controlled substance is later discovered to be fake. While a person may have only ever worked with flour, if they sold it as cocaine, they could be charged with handling counterfeit drugs.

Massachusetts Law Against Selling Counterfeit Drugs

Anyone caught intentionally and knowingly creating, possessing, selling, or dispensing fake drugs is subject to a sentence of one year in jail, a fine of $250 to $2,500, or both. These penalties are relatively lenient compared to similar crimes in other states.

Look-Alike Drugs

It’s not uncommon for drug dealers to work with fake look-alike drugs. Many household materials have similar appearances and textures as real drugs, making them easy and accessible ingredients for counterfeit dupes. Common examples include passing off:

  • Dried plants as marijuana
  • Baby powder as cocaine
  • Over-the-counter drugs as pharmaceutical drugs

Federal Counterfeit Drug Laws

There is a federal counterpart to Massachusetts’s state laws regarding counterfeited drugs. Under U.S.C. Section 331, it is illegal to sell misbranded drugs across state lines. So, if you were to purchase aspirin in Massachusetts and sell it as ecstasy in New York, you would be guilty of a federal offense.

What’s more, you could also earn a conviction for criminal fraud. You could be found guilty if you are knowingly:

  • Falsifying or hiding a material fact
  • Making false statements or misrepresenting an item as something it is not
  • Creating or using false documents that you know to consist of fictitious statements

With potential legal repercussions from both the state and federal government, it’s imperative that you recruit one of our experienced attorneys to handle your case. Call us today for more information: (617) 500-0252.


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