United States v. Murillo-Alvarado, No. 14-50354 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Section 11351 of the California Health and Safety Code (possession or purchase for sale of designated controlled substance) is divisible –as discussed in Mathis v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2243 (2016) –as to its controlled substance requirement, such that a conviction under that statute may, applying the modified categorical approach, be held to be a drug trafficking offense under the Sentencing Guidelines. In this case, the Ninth Circuit applied the modified categorical approach and held that the government established that defendant was previously convicted of possessing cocaine for sale, which qualifies as a drug trafficking offense under the Sentencing Guidelines. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.