United States v. Medina, No. 12-1930 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
After a search of Medina’s garage revealed 9.5 kilograms of cocaine, packaging materials, $124,124 in cash, and $51,890 worth of jewelry, Medina pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1) and 846. Based on statements by Medina’s customer and cocaine seized from Medina, the government took the position that Medina was accountable for more than 50 kilograms of cocaine. He was sentenced to 190 months. A few months later, Medina provided a safety valve interview (18 U.S.C. 3553(f)) in an effort to obtain relief from the 10‐year mandatory minimum sentence, but challenged the quantities for which he was sentenced. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The district judge adequately considered the potential pitfalls of relying on the testimony of Medina’s customer and adopted a conservative estimate of drug quantity that was supported by the evidence. There was no improper speculation.