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Reason Presents Case of Plastics Manufacturer Caught in Drug Conspiracy


May 1995

In the May issue of Reason magazine, Jacob Sullum discusses the case of Sam Zhadanov, a 68-year-old plastics manufacturer who was forced to forfeit almost everything he owned and is serving a five-year sentence for conspiracy to manufacture drug paraphernalia and other charges (Jacob Sullum, "A Vial Crime," Reason, May 1995, p. 30-36):

Zhadanov's mistake was to manufacture little plastic containers, about an inch long and the width of a pencil, similar to the ones fancy stores use for perfume samples. These containers are also used by drug dealers to hold small nuggets of crack cocaine (half a gram or so). They are perfectly legal when intended for a legitimate purpose. But when they are intended for packaging crack, they are considered drug paraphernalia. As far as Sam Zhadanov was concerned, he made perfume sample bottles. According to the government, he made crack vials.