Seventh Circuit - Drug Offenses

United States v. Carnell, 972 F.3d 932 (7th Cir. 2020). Circumstantial evidence by users, dealers and law enforcement that a drug appears to be “ice” based on look, smell, effect, nomenclature or the like will not suffice to meet the government’s preponderance burden that a drug is at least 80% pure methamphetamine.

United States v. Stamps, 983 F.3d 945 (7th Cir. 2020). Statutory safety valve requires a defendant to prove by a preponderance that any firearm possessed was unrelated to the drug trafficking conviction. It does not, unlike §2D1.1(b)’s 2-level enhancement, require proof that the firearm’s connection to the drug offense was clearly improbable.

United States v. Sanchez, 989 F.3d 523 (7th Cir. 2021). The court did not plainly error in refusing to apply the minor role reduction at §3B1.2(b) to a courier who transported a large quantity of drugs, recruited others, unloaded narcotics at stash houses, and prevented law enforcement from apprehending a codefendant.

United States v. Wylie, 991 F.3d 861 (7th Cir. 2021). The court mistakenly believed it was required to impose the statutory mandatory minimum supervised release term on a drug trafficking offender who qualified for safety-valve relief under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f).

United States v. Gibson , 996 F.3d 451 (7th Cir. 2021). The court was permitted to estimate the total drug quantity based upon trial evidence about (1) the total number of calls made to two drug phones, (2) the average number of calls required to complete each drug transaction, and (3) a conservative estimate of the quantity of drugs sold per transaction.

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