United States v. Villarreal, No. 12-40589 (5th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of conspiring to and possessing with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. On appeal, defendant argued that had the district court only considered the weight attributable to the actual cocaine, he could not have been found guilty of crimes requiring more than five kilograms. Further, defendant argued that his sentencing analysis would have been different. The court concluded, under Chapman v. United States, that because defendant possessed a mixture of substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine, the weight of the mixture and not the weight of the pure cocaine, was controlling. The court also concluded that the Sentencing Guidelines specifically provided that the weight of a controlled substance referred to the entire weight of any mixture of substance containing a detectable amount of the controlled substance. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.