United States v. Teran-Salas, No. 13-40884 (5th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed his sentence after pleading guilty to being an alien found unlawfully present in the United States after deportation. Defendant challenged the district court's determination that his 2011 Texas conviction qualified as either a "drug trafficking offense" under U.S.S.G. 2L1.2 of the guidelines or an "aggravated felony" under 8 U.S.C. 1326(b)(2). The court held that, although Texas's statutory framework leaves open the theoretical possibility that a defendant can be convicted under Texas Health & Safety Code 481.112(a) for conduct that would not qualify as a federal drug trafficking offense, defendant failed to establish a realistic probability that Texas would apply its statute in such a manner. The court held that the district court was correct in determining that defendant's Texas conviction was both a drug trafficking offense and an aggravated felony. Accordingly, the court affirmed the sentence.