United States v. Giggey, No. 16-2391 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
At issue in this case was the method and manner in which synthetic cathinone alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP), a drug not listed in the relevant tables incorporated in the sentencing guidelines, is converted into its equivalent for sentencing purposes. Here, the district court used a conversion metric grounded in its finding that methcathinone is the drug referenced in the sentencing guidelines that is most closely related to alpha-PVP. The court then imposed a downwardly variant sentence of seventy-two-months’ imprisonment. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) any error in the district court’s application of the sentencing guidelines was harmless; and (2) the sentencing court did not clearly err in determining that methcathinone was the controlled substance referenced in the sentencing guidelines that corresponds most closely to alpha-PVP.