United States v. Moreno, No. 15-3312 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Moreno sold Alpha‐PVP, a designer drug that produces a powerful stimulant effect in its users before that drug was listed as a controlled substance. It was listed on the federal government’s Schedule I of controlled substances in 2014. Moreno pled guilty (21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1)(A)-(C)) to importing Alpha‐ PVP from China and dealing the drug in northwestern Wisconsin. The Seventh Circuit affirmed his 80-month sentence, rejecting Moreno’s argument that the district court assigned the wrong offense level to Alpha‐PVP when calculating the Sentencing Guidelines range. Alpha‐PVP is not specifically listed in the Sentencing Guidelines drug‐quantity tables, so the Guidelines required the district court to determine the “most closely related” controlled substance, U.S.S.G. 2D1.1, appl. n.6, and then use that drug’s offense level for Alpha‐PVP. After holding an evidentiary hearing, the district court found that the most closely related drug is methcathinone, another Schedule I controlled substance.