California Health and Safety Code Section 11379.6 - Interpretation

Aider and abettor liability under Health and Safety Code section 11379.6 requires that the accused have the specific intent to facilitate the manufacturing process whereas section 11366.5 on its face requires no such intent. Nothing in the legislative history of the two statutes indicated the Legislature intended to preclude prosecution for a violation of section 11379.6 in circumstances where it was possible to prove an accused (a) permitted the use of his or her property as a laboratory for the manufacture of a controlled substance, and (b) possessed the specific intent to facilitate or aid the manufacturing process. In People v. Sanchez (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 918, appellant, a farm laborer, lived with his wife and daughter in an isolated farmhouse in rural Tulare County. Appellant's employer allowed him to use the residence rent-free. on the evening of September 25, 1992, a team of investigators went to the residence in search of a methamphetamine laboratory. They had found a chemical dump site approximately three-quarters of a mile from the farmhouse the previous month. Appellant and his wife came out of the house in response to the team's arrival. They were immediately arrested and advised of their rights. Appellant agreed to talk and gave permission for the house and all vehicles to be searched. the investigators found almost $ 5,000 in a purse in appellant's bedroom and 33 pounds of methamphetamine on a table outside the residence. Appellant told an investigator his uncle brought four Mexican men to the house to "'work these chemicals.'" (Id. at p. 921.) The investigator interviewed appellant's uncle the following day and concluded appellant was not being truthful. In a second interview, appellant admitted he lied about his uncle's involvement. He said a man named Marcos had brought the men to his house and that these men had used Marcos's house for a methamphetamine lab. At trial, appellant admitted these men had previously used the ranch where he lived. A jury found appellant guilty of aiding and abetting the manufacture of methamphetamine (Health & Saf. Code, 11379.6) because he permitted the ranch to be used as the location for a methamphetamine laboratory. Appellant contended section 11366.5 precluded his conviction under section 11379.6 because the former was a more specific statute than the latter and thus superseded the more general statute. The Court disagreed and affirmed. Section 11366.5 requires the accused to have knowledge that the substance is being manufactured or stored for the purpose of sale or distribution to others. In contrast, section 11379.6 requires no such knowledge.