Illinois Aggravated Possession or Delivery of Anhydrous Ammonia

The Law – 720 ILCS 646/25

It is unlawful to knowingly engage in the possession, procurement, transportation, storage, or delivery of anhydrous ammonia or to attempt to engage in any of these activities or to assist another in engaging in any of these activities with the intent that the anhydrous ammonia be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

WHAT IS “ANHYDROUS AMMONIA”?

Anhydrous Ammonia, commonly known as fertilizer, is a chemical that contains Nitrogen and Hydrogen. The fertilizer is used to provide Nitrogen to growing plants. However, Anhydrous Ammonia is also commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Exposure to Anhydrous Ammonia vapors can lead to severe and permanent injuries and death.

A person commits Aggravated Possession or Delivery of Anhydrous Ammonia when:

(A) the person knowingly does so in a multi-unit dwelling;

(B) the person knowingly does so in a structure or vehicle where a child under the age of 18, or a person with a disability, or a person who is 60 years of age or older who is incapable of adequately providing for his or her own health and personal care resides, is present, or is endangered by the anhydrous ammonia;

(C) the person's possession, procurement, transportation, storage, or delivery of anhydrous ammonia is a contributing cause of the death, serious bodily injury, disability, or disfigurement of another person; or

(D) the person's possession, procurement, transportation, storage, or delivery of anhydrous ammonia is a contributing cause of a fire or explosion that damages property belonging to another person.

Recognizing the significantly harmful results that may arise from unskilled usage of Anhydrous Ammonia, Illinois law harshly penalizes the possession, transportation, storage or delivery of Anhydrous Ammonia, a plant or crop fertilizer often used to manufacture methamphetamine, when a certain circumstances exist or follow as a result of the knowing possession, transportation, storage or delivery of the methamphetamine if it is coupled with intent to use the Anhydrous Ammonia to create methamphetamine.

As such, Illinois has set out to assure that the punishment is consistent with the gravity of the offense committed. An individual in possession of Anhydrous Ammonia who exposes the chemical to: many people in a multi-unit dwelling (i.e. an apartment building or college dormitory), the elderly, young or disabled, those who become seriously injured or killed as a result of the exposure and those who lost property due to a fire or explosion from the Anhydrous Ammonia, will be punished to a greater extent than one who possesses the chemical without exposing it to the above listed classes of individuals.

As is the case with most Methamphetamine offenses, the individual charged must have known, or should have known, that they were possessing, transporting, delivering or procuring Anhydrous Ammonia and intended that the Anhydrous Ammonia be used in manufacturing methamphetamine. In this respect, common sense will allow a Judge or jury to determine whether the knowledge and intent was present. Common sense tells people that a farmer will innocently have a large quantity of the chemical to use on their farm, so long as no other equipment or materials commonly known to be used in manufacturing methamphetamine are found alongside the Anhydrous Ammonia. Common sense also tells us that if Anhydrous Ammonia was found in possession of a person who doesn’t live near, or has no relation to, a farm, that individual may be using the chemical for illicit purposes.

As is the case with all other methamphetamine related crimes, a person who has been convicted a second, or subsequent, time of possessing Anhydrous Ammonia with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine to be sentenced to double the jail time and be fined twice the amount than what would be the case in a first offense.

The Sentence

1st OFFENSE

  • Class X Felony
  • 6 to 30 years in prison
  • Up to $100,000 fine

2nd OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE

  • Class X Felony
  • Mandatory 12 to 60 years in prison
  • Up to $200,000 fine

Probation Possible? No.

Supervision Possible? No.

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