R. Addison Steele II, Attorney at Law - Criminal defense attorney in Santa Barbara
Methamphetamine Manufacturing Cases
 
Addison has done two meth lab trials.
One of the trials had significant victories
(Ismael Garcia)
 
     Methamphetamine lab cases are extremely complex.  The lawyer has to understand chemestry as well as the complex statutes involved in such a case.  I've two meth lab trials.
 
     My meth lab trial experience and successes include:
 
Ismael Garcia
 
  • Ismael Garcia
  • Charges: Operating a meth lab (Health and Safety Code § 11379.6(a)), possession of meth for sales (Health and Safety Code § 11378), conspiracy to operate a meth lab (Penal Code § 182 and Health and Safety Code § 11379.6(a)), dumping waste from meth manufacturing (Health and Safety Code § 11374.5(a)), with three special allegations of being armed while committing a drug crime (Penal Code § 12022(c)), two allegations of possession of twenty-five gallons or ten pounds of meth (Health and Safety Code § 11379.8(a)(3)), an allegation of possession four kilos or 100 liters of meth (Health and Safety Code § 11370.4(b)(2)).
  • Exposure: Ismael was facing twenty-eight years in prison.
  • Outcome: Ismael was acquitted of conspiracy to manufacture meth, convicted of manufacturing meth, acquitted of dumping waste from meth manufacturing, the allegations of being armed were found true, all of the weight allegations were either found not true or not reached because of not guilty verdicts.  Ismael was sentenced to ten years in prison at half time (can be released after five years with good behavior).  The district attorney presented the case as Ismael being being leader of the four co-defendants.  The prosecutors narcotics expert witness testified that the meth manufacturing operation was the largest ever busted anywhere, ever.  Yet all the co-defendants were convicted of the weight enhancements and sentenced to more than twenty years when Ismael was acquitted of the weight enhancement.
 
James Kuzyk
 
  • James Kuzyk
  • Charges: Manufacturing methamphetamine (Health and Safety Code § 11379.6(a)), possession of ingredients for manufacturing methamphetamine (Health and Safety Code § 11383(c)(1)), and felon in possession of ammunition (Penal Code § 12316(b)(1)).
  • Exposure: Three years in prison for the felon in possession of ammunition.
  • Outcome: James was acquitted of felon in possession of ammunition, he was convicted of the other charges.
 
This is an example of one the slides I used in closing argument when fighting James' case.
    
     Questions you should ask an attorney that you are considering hiring for a terrorist threats case:
 
  • Have you done a meth lab trial before?
  • This question is important because a meth lab trial is extremely complex, you just don't want an attorney who's cutting his teeth on this type of trial.
  • I have done two meth lab trials, one with significant victories.
 
  • What were the results of your meth lab trials?
  • This question is important because in a meth lab trial there are so many ways to fight hard and attack the district attorney's case.  If an attorney has had victories in a meth lab trial, the attorney has the experience and skills to handle the level of complexity involved in a meth lab trial.
  • I have had significant victories in a meth lab trial.  If you find another attorney that has done more meth lab trials and has had more success at them than I have, hire that person.  If you want the best possible chance of winning, you should contact me.
 
  • Do you train others lawyers in your techniques for winning meth lab trials?
  • This question is important because typically only the leading lawyers in a field are invited to conduct trainings of other lawyers.
  • I was a speaker at the California Public Defenders Association (CPDA) homicide defense training in 2011 to train on my winning trials by humanizing the client method. I have also given that same training at the Riverside County Public Defenders Office, the Riverside County Barristers, the Santa Clara County Public Defenders Office and the San Francisco County Public Defenders Office. I was a speaker at the CPDA homicide defense training in 2012 to train on utilizing a neuropsychologist in a homicide case. The skills that I teach to other lawyers are easily utilized in a meth lab trial.
 
  • How long were the meth lab trials you've done and how many days of defense did you present?
  • These questions are important because although some cases just call for a short trial, a short trial can also mean that the prosecution was not sufficiently challenged or that no defense was presented.  A meth lab trial that lasts five or ten court days is reason for concern because it's an indicator that the prosecution is not being thoroughly challenged and a complete defense is not being presented.
  • I have spent twenty-six court days in meth lab trials.  My success and experience in meth lab trials is really unparalleled.
 
     If you need to talk to me about a meth lab case, you can send me an e-mail at rasteele@steeledefender.com or call me at (805) 770-1188.
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