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Author: Subject: So my house was raided today.
spong
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So my house was raided today.

The police were surprisingly really nice about it once I explained what I was doing. The guy in charge of the chemists was a bit rude, they found permanganate and peroxide and thought I was making methcathinone. They also found the Cl2 generator and assumed I was using it for making HCl salts of drugs. I explained it was for AlCl3 and they took my two bottles of AlCl3. They only really took the unlabeled chemicals, some benzoquinone, saponified phthallate ester in a flask, they took bags of paracetamol and aspirin tablets too. They started talking about how they would have to confiscate and destroy everything because it wasn't stored correctly but its pretty much all here. They didn't even touch a flask of bromine so I don't think that's what they were worried about. They did take my spud gun I used for a physics assignment but I could get my old teacher to talk to them and explain. They said as long as I had a reasonable explanation for all my chemicals I should hopefully be ok.
For any Au$tralians on here, watch out. These guys came because I bought some glassware from Laboy glass and customs flagged it. If you'be ordered anything from overseas I'd watch our and keep a neat lab and have uses ready to reel off for all the chems. It only these guys had come after Sunday, I was going to set up a proper lab and cleaned everything up. Does anyone know what I should be expecting now? I think I'll have to move out of Au$tralia if I ever want to persue this hobby further.
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Don't say another word to the police. It is impossible to talk your way out of trouble, and you never know what words may dig you deeper. I emphasize: NOT A WORD. I'd look into a free consultation with an attorney immediately.

EDIT: The reason they were "nice" is because you were talking, and they wanted you to keep going. They were hoping you'd incriminate yourself.

I weep at the sight of flaming acetic anhydride.
spong
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I really hope that's not the case, they seemed genuinely friendly. One of them was out to get me though, for some reason they were badgering me about sulfur(?) and I asked why they were worried about that and people don't use it to make meth, probably stepping into one of their little traps, they then asked 'how would you know' etc...
Wouldn't they have confiscated more of it if they thought I was really running a meth lab? Like virtually all the chemicals are still here.
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It could be that they're going to let you off the hook - it's hard to know though. I'm sure they play the "good cop bad cop" routine in Australia too.

It's worth ringing up a couple attorneys for free consultations and getting their opinion; they'll be able to give far deeper insight than you or I ever could. You don't want to end up getting framed for some "intent to manufacture ___" charge for something you've never even heard of... cops and prosecutors have no concept of chemistry being interesting to anyone for any reason other than drugs or terrorism. Could this happen? Maybe - but I can't tell you with any confidence "you're screwed" or "you're fine;" only attorneys have the expertise necessary to do so.

I weep at the sight of flaming acetic anhydride.
mr.crow
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Well that fucken sucks. Lawyer up and let us know how it goes.

They got a search warrant based on importing glassware? Yikes

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble
psychokinetic
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When I was asked how I knew X and Y weren't used to make meth, I replied that anyone with half a brain knows how it is done.

I hope nothing too bad comes out of this, spong.

“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search.
I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”
-Tesla
mewrox99
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It sucks your house got raided

At the start of my hobby, a cop came to my house over glassware I got from labwarehouse. (See thread Police Notified for buying beakers!)

Luckily they didn't come in. I'm apparently flagged even though I'm only 14 because my neighbor decided that unconfined KNO3/Mg flash powder was a chemical explosive

This was before I had a home lab, I used to do some pyro. In my garage there was nothing spectacular just some metal powders, KNO3, iron oxide and copper sulfate. Yet the cops took everything and I got a youth aid warning.

A few months after that I decided to have a real home lab and bought glassware, which lead to the same cop which took my pyro stuff coming to my door

And this is in NZ. Australia is far more fascist

Take there retarded laser laws. Be very careful about buying glassware in the future. Most of these glassware companies tip of the police and your probably flagged now

spong
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Yeah I remember reading about that thread, I used to be into fireworks too so I have perc, KNO3, Al powder, S etc. I told them that was why, they weren't very impressed but they didn't touch any of it, they were only really concerned I may have been making drugs. They didn't even look at a jar of green, purple and crackling stars +fuse or black powder. I'm surprised your neighbours complained about that though, mine put up with an awful lot haha.
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The police are not your friends and never will be. Firstly they need a warrant to enter your house...but you let them in didn't you! Big mistake. SAY NO MORE TO THEM. After telling them your name the rest of the conversation is "no comment" FOR EVERYTHING (including the weather).

You're only 14 and they basically got nothing on you so you'll be fine as long as you stick to saying NO COMMENT. Please get a solicitor. This is very important. So as soon as you read this, make a call to a solicitor and if the police call then say NO COMMENT (got that!!) and if the police come to the door again don't let them in without a warrent (no matter how friendly they are). Remember, they are NOT YOUR FRIENDS.
Mr. Wizard
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This link takes you to a great You Tube video. After you watch it, watch part 2.
This guy is really good.

Perhaps this has more relevance for people in the US, but all may benefit.
spong
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 Quote: Originally posted by Mr. Wizard This link takes you to a great You Tube video. After you watch it, watch part 2. This guy is really good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE&feature=relat... Perhaps this has more relevance for people in the US, but all may benefit.

Fuck that's ridiculous, if police here are anything like American ones I'm in a lot of trouble.
Nicodem
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Possibly the stress from this unfortunate event will cause you more harm than the police would. In most of the world the police and laws are not like in the USA, so don't get scared too much on basis of such trivial comparisons. If you are young, preferably a teenager, don't have any criminal record, not overly religious or politically active, part of the major ethnical group, middle class, living with straight parents, then you should be fine and you would better stop worrying about it. Forget about it and if you hear anything more from the police rather immediately call an attorney instead of trying to defend yourself. Just say to them that they scare you and you don't feel safe talking to them without a legal representative as you are too young and inexperienced to understand the consequences. If the police wanted to, they could frame you for illegal storage of hazardous materials - unfortunately amateur chemistry is already inherently illegal in most countries due to the chemicals storage regulations and permits to run a any such business at your own residence. It is near to impossible for an amateur with limited financial resources to legalize such activities as there are always laws and residential regulations that a police officer could find to incriminate, confiscate everything, or fine you. Luckily if you fit the above personal criteria you can count on the police officers not being such dicks to actually get that anal on you - they are supposed to have more serious things to do!
spong
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Thanks that's calmed me down quite a bit. I haven't had any troubles with the law apart from a thing with an old air rifle a few years ago (my friends dad used to own it and I got it from him then another friend cut his thumb in the chamber and his parents told the police) They don't mind about it too much though, one of them was telling me how ridiculous the laws have got and how when he was a kid someone took an air rifle to show and tell and was shooting cans at school. I fit most of the other criteria so hopefully all will be well...
MagicJigPipe
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 Quote: not overly religious

I don't know about Australia but in the U.S. this is a good attribute to have if it is the "correct" religion (Christianity).

 Quote: or politically active, part of the major ethnical group, middle class, living with straight parents

Look, I know racism exists still but I don't think being of another ethnicity, in the case of amateur science, exposes one to more scrutiny than those of the dominant (and I use that word lightly especially nowadays) one. Also in this case, being upper class would almost certainly be an advantage (money for lawyers, court costs, bribes etc...) Most Americans associate "drug cookery" with the white lower class! Don't you? I'm sure there is a survey around that gives this conclusion.

And the last one; what? I realize that there are private citizens that hate gays but I'm just not seeing this one. I really don't think that, in general, federal agents give one shit or another about the sexuality of your parents. It might even be a benefit considering that (and I can't prove this but don't you get the same gist?) most people don't associate gays with crime.

Of course all this comes from my experiences in the U.S. and probably doesn't apply to Australia although I can't imagine it being extremely different (not considering large differences in ethnic makeup).

What do you think, Nicodem?

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
Polverone
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Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipe
Quote:

 Quote: or politically active, part of the major ethnical group, middle class, living with straight parents

Look, I know racism exists still but I don't think being of another ethnicity, in the case of amateur science, exposes one to more scrutiny than those of the dominant (and I use that word lightly especially nowadays) one. Also in this case, being upper class would almost certainly be an advantage (money for lawyers, court costs, bribes etc...) Most Americans associate "drug cookery" with the white lower class! Don't you? I'm sure there is a survey around that gives this conclusion.

If you're not set up to cook meth I wouldn't worry about being charged with that, but what else might they come up with? If the police want to look hard enough there's probably something they can find to use against you, even if it's unrelated to the activity that first drew their attention. If you're white and clean-cut it reduces the chances they'll keep looking for something. And of course, yes, the more wealth you have the better the probable outcome for you, whether you're innocent or otherwise.

[Edited on 9-28-2010 by Polverone]

PGP Key and corresponding e-mail address
psychokinetic
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If you're an Arab, or even remotely brown, you may be mistaken for a Muslim (oh yeah, brilliant logic there), and so that one conical flask you might have is FOR MAKING BOMBS OH NOES. (more great logic).

“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search.
I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”
-Tesla
SWilkin676
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Just be glad you're not this guy - he not only looks funny and I suspect is Aspergers - he has technology in his car ~GASP~

And was foolish enough to mention chloroform to the pool store salesguy who naturally assumed he was going to make a BOMB with it. Talk about chemically illiterate.

http://www.tcoasttalk.com/2010/08/28/chemistrys-my-hobby-por...
mewrox99
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That pissed me off so much

mewrox99
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And yes the is one 'explosive' thing you could make with pool chlorine and that's NCl3

But seriously that case is disgusting, I really hope that he gets acquitted

What really annoys me is how the morons in the pool shop thought they were experts on chemistry.

MagicJigPipe
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It just goes to show that, while folks like [deleted] consistently deny that there is anything to worry about as long as you're not doing anything wrong, the opposite is likely true.

I hate not being able to talk to people about my interests outside of this forum. I hate feeling like I have to sneak around to buy chemicals and glassware. I even thought about ways that I could use a fake name and address the other day. Maybe my paranoia is irrational and I am going insane--or maybe it's well founded fear based on hard evidence (e.g. above). Either way I believe we (the USA and countries similar to it) are headed towards a scientific blackout of epic proportions. Our fear of drugs, bombs and environmental hazards will cause us to lose our continuing advancements in pharmaceuticals, weapons (a good thing?) and energy production. We should be prepared to kiss our kush living goodbye if we wish to live in absolute safety because to do that is to limit the investigation of the unknown and thus the aspirations of future scientists.

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
mewrox99
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I don't think your fears are unjustified
DDTea
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Basically: don't piss off the po-po's. What you should know about law enforcement: if they want to make your life suck, they can and they will. From what I understand, in these circumstances they basically confiscate your stuff and give you a slap on the wrist--at least they do that with minors. If you're lucky, you may have come across as smart kid with a bright future, in which case they won't want to shatter your dreams. No guarantees, though!

If the po-po's want any further contact with you, I'd highly recommend getting some legal advice. If not, then take the loss and lay low. If you're genuinely interested in chemistry, study it. As fun as splashing around with chemicals in a garage is, working in a proper lab and doing meaningful research is better by a factory of 12*e^[35(pi)i]. Your lab is expendable, so just accept the loss and move on.

 Quote: Originally posted by SWilkin676 Just be glad you're not this guy - he not only looks funny and I suspect is Aspergers - he has technology in his car ~GASP~ And was foolish enough to mention chloroform to the pool store salesguy who naturally assumed he was going to make a BOMB with it. Talk about chemically illiterate. http://www.tcoasttalk.com/2010/08/28/chemistrys-my-hobby-por...

By the way, if you guys still haven't figured this out: it's not about what you're *actually* doing, it's about what someone *thinks* you're doing. People have legitimate fears of terrorists and drug cooks; they probably don't even *know* that people think of chemistry as "fun" or a "hobby." Call it science illiteracy, but it's still a very real issue that you've got to deal with.

[Edited on 9-29-10 by DDTea]

"In the end the proud scientist or philosopher who cannot be bothered to make his thought accessible has no choice but to retire to the heights in which dwell the Great Misunderstood and the Great Ignored, there to rail in Olympic superiority at the folly of mankind." - Reginald Kapp.
woelen

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DDTea, what you are saying is only partially true. There is one big difference between YOUR lab and a company's or university's lab. In YOUR lab you can do the research you like to do, but if you just want some fun with e.g. a cool demo for your kids, then you also can do that. In the company's lab other are deciding for you what you may investigate. Of ocurse, that can be very fun and it also can be very rewarding, but having your own lab with own equipment and own chemicals is different from a company's lab. Which is better? That's not the question, both are good. The main difference is that one is YOURs and the other isn't.

I would be VERY unhappy if my lab stuff would be confiscated. I now own 300+ different chemicals, most of them in tiny quantities but good enough for doing interesting research and I own worth $10000 of electronics, glassware, high-voltage compounds and general stuff like heaters. I think I investigated well over$2000 in chemicals and \$10000 in all kinds of equipment. This is not something which one easily can replace. All this was built up over a period of 15 years!

The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
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DDTea's right - you have to be careful.

There's so many ways to make drugs, explosives, etc. that they can pin you with almost anything if they really want to.

For example, the AlCl3 mentioned to reassure the cops that you weren't gassing illegal alkaloids with HCl... it can be used to make P2P, a direct precursor to amphetamine.

I weep at the sight of flaming acetic anhydride.
DDTea
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woelen: understood about having your own lab, and quite honestly, I agree. It really *is* nice to be able to investigate whatever you'd like. What sucks, though, is having to pay for it (unless you're someone who knows how to get people's money, like Sam Barros...)

For a teenager, though, my advice is still the same: learn all the theory and how to work in a lab before you decide to bring your work home. Get all your footwork and fundamentals down because those will open up way more doors for you than anything else. I agree that experimenting at home is exciting and the hands-on approach to science is what attracts a lot of people to the field (it's what attracted me, at least), but at some point you've got to get serious, otherwise you'll just end up doing things the harder/longer way. So spong: now may just be a good time for you to do some serious studying and come back to your hobby in a few years. The more you know, the broader your creativity will be.

"In the end the proud scientist or philosopher who cannot be bothered to make his thought accessible has no choice but to retire to the heights in which dwell the Great Misunderstood and the Great Ignored, there to rail in Olympic superiority at the folly of mankind." - Reginald Kapp.
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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Non-chemistry » Legal and Societal Issues » So my house was raided today. Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Detritus   » Test Forum