United States v. Spencer Rozier

United States v. Spencer Rozier, No. 18-10847 (March 5, 2019), UNPUBLISHED The Court held that circumstantial evidence including the defendant’s criminal history, his signature on the storage unit lease, and his access to the storage unit was sufficient to prove he constructively possessed the controlled substances found within the storage unit. Drug Offenses/Elements – There…

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United States v. Valois

United States v. Valois, et al., No. 17-13535 (February 12, 2019) Two groups of individuals were intercepted by the Coast Guard and prosecuted separately for drug trafficking on the high seas. The Court affirmed the second group’s convictions, holding that a mistrial was not warranted based on the prosecutor’s references to a conspiracy between the…

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United States v. Enrique Montano-Garcia

United States v. Enrique Montano-Garcia, No. 17-11773 (February 5, 2019), UNPUBLISHED The Court held that the sentencing court erred in attributing to the defendant the entire drug quantity found at his co-conspirator’s apartment because the court failed to make a finding that the defendant, a drug courier, agreed to participate in the co-conspirator’s broader criminal…

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United States v. Alexis Hernandez

United States v. Alexis Hernandez, No. 17-15666 (October 26, 2018) The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction, holding that the Rules of Evidence do not apply in § 851 hearings, and that the district court did not plainly err in applying the preponderance of evidence standard where the evidence established the defendant’s prior conviction beyond a…

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United States v. Jason Phifer

United States v. Jason Phifer, No. 17-10397 (September 21, 2018) The Court reversed a defendant’s conviction for possession with the intent to distribute ethylone. At issue was whether ethylone is a “positional isomer” of butylone, which would therefore make it an illegal controlled substance. The DEA asserted that it was, pursuant to its regulations defining…

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