Interviewer: Do you get a lot of manufacturing cases for meth or cultivation cases for marijuana?
Michael Munoz: There are really not many meth lab cases anymore. There were more in the early and the mid-2000s. Meth production was being done in homes and it was done through a process where people were getting pseudoephedrine from your normal over-the-counter cold medicine, and they were buying lots and lots of it, and then they were going home and making homemade methamphetamine.
Because of some federal laws that require you now to use ID and sign at your local pharmacy to buy allergy medication, it’s harder for people in that world to get those types of drugs that have pseudoephedrine. I think now the vast majority of those drugs are being manufactured probably over the border.
Cultivation of Marijuana Offenses Are Very Rare in Arizona
Interviewer: What about marijuana cultivation? Do you see those?
Michael Munoz: Cultivating marijuana is not a very common case, no. Again, marijuana is coming from across the border. It’s now being grown legally. It’s more common to see sale and transportation of marijuana than it is to see actual cultivation of marijuana.
Cultivation cases do exist, though. We got a call on one recently.
Notable Examples of Drug Related Cases in Arizona
Interviewer: Do you have any examples of some drug cases where you’re able to achieve a good result because of something you did?
Michael Munoz: There are a lot of different ways. A recent one I had was a young man that was a passenger in the vehicle and was found to have a very large quantity of marijuana. Through the way that the officer questioned him, they alleged that my client ended up admitting that the drugs were his. We were able to prove that the questioning was a violation of my client’s Miranda rights. We were able to get the state’s version of the confession thrown out, and their case became much weaker at that point. We were able to get a very, very good result.
In a Case Involving Huge Quantities of Drugs, the Drugs are Scientifically Tested
Interviewer: Are there any other cases you can think of, maybe where science was involved?
Michael Munoz: In terms of science, on a drug sale case when there’s a large quantity of drugs, they just test the drugs. If the drugs come back positive, you’re really fighting more of factual issues versus science issues. You’re going to see more scientific issues with a DUI case, in a DNA case, or in a homicide or an assault. On the drug sale cases, I see less science. We attack a lot of factual issues in the state’s investigation.